New Brunswick Parasport Festival
This year marked the first ever New Brunswick Parasport Festival in Moncton, held at the CEPS, Louis-J-Robichaud on the Université de Moncton campus. The event, put on by Para NB in partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), featured exhibitors offering participants, coaches, parents and leaders program information, instructional clinics and an opportunity to watch demonstrations and test out para equipment.
The event was a huge success thanks to the hard work of over 50 enthusiastic volunteers and 18. sport organizations who attended.The Canadian Paralympic Committee later confirmed that the New Brunswick Festival saw the highest number of participants with a physical disability in attendance in Canada, with more than 50 participants with a physical disability in attendance!
Feedback for the event has been spectacular. A post-event survey found that 93.7% of participants rated the event as “excellent” or “very good.” What participants were most excited about was the variety of equipment and activities available to try, the opportunity to network and meet new people and the interactive, hands-on aspect of the event. One example of a success story was when a woman who has had a mobility disability for over 20 years got into a sit ski at the NB Alpine station. She started to cry and when asked why, she responded that she couldn’t remember the last time she felt so free!
The group, with the help of partners, was able to offer accessible transportation for participants with a physical disability from many regions of the province. Accessible transportation can be a major barrier to participation, so organizers went out of their way to ensure those with disabilities were offered the best opportunity possible to attend.
The group plans to continue promoting and reaching out to interested parties about parasport into the new year and are very happy to have Joined the Wellness Movement!