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Trent University Athletics Introduces Local Kids to Sport of Wheelchair Racing
July 7, 2007

Canadian Gold Medal Winner and Record Holder Josh Cassidy on Hand at Trent for Three Days to Teach Campers

Canadian Gold Medal Winner and Record Holder Josh Cassidy on Hand at Trent for Three Days to Teach CampersFor a second year, Trent University Athletics has partnered with Five Counties Children’s Centre, Paralympics Ontario, Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association (OWSA) and Ontario Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (OCPSA), to hold a three-day introductory session to wheelchair racing for a group of local kids.

The three-day session, which runs from July 23 to the 25, is targeted to clients of Five Counties between the ages of 11 and 18 who use wheelchairs or mobility aids.

"Having the opportunity to partner with Trent University Athletics presents a truly integrated community experience," says Colleen Ristok, senior recreation therapist at Five Counties. "We chose this camp to give our clients the opportunity to try out wheelchair track and field for the first time, to meet a mentor athlete, and to practice with top notch equipment."

The mentor athlete on hand at the camp is Josh Cassidy, a Paralympic racer and member of the Canadian national team. Mr. Cassidy won two gold medals at the Canada Games in 2005 and currently holds the Canadian record for the 5km race. Among the world’s racers, he is ranked in the top seven.

"Everyone should have an opportunity for health and wellness," says Sue Robinson, fitness and facilities coordinator at Trent University. "Trent Athletics is very happy to be a long-term sponsor for the great programs run by the recreationists at Five Counties. It is important for all children and youth to have fun and active physical programs which are accessible and enjoyable. This is an important part of our philosophy within athletics."

Paralympics Ontario provides the equipment for the three-day session, including several top-of-the-line wheelchair racers. According to Helena Seymour, a development officer for the organization, Paralympics Ontario is proud to be part of the partnership at Trent.

"Peterborough is an amazingly supportive community," she says. "And to have Trent as a supporting partner to provide this great space is phenomenal."