Saskatchewan's elite athletes to demonstrate Paralympic sports on International Day for Persons with a Disability



    SASKATOON, Nov. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Double Paralympic gold medalist Amy
Alsop, multi-gold medalist Lisa Franks and Paralympian Karen Van Nest will
mark International Day for Persons with a Disability on December 3 by
promoting the important role sport can play in the lives of people with a
physical disability. These elite Saskatchewan athletes along with Paralympic
hopefuls Alexandre Dupont, Kyle Shaw and Shawna Ryan will demonstrate several
Paralympic sports to students and staff at Bedford Road Collegiate in
Saskatoon on December 3 beginning at 11 a.m.
    "I hope this event will start the public and media talking about the
upcoming 2008 Paralympic Games," said Alsop, who won gold on Canada's goalball
team at both the Athens 2004 Paralympic Summer Games and the Sydney 2000
Paralympic Summer Games. "The event today acknowledges December 3 by
celebrating the achievements of Saskatchewan's Paralympic athletes, and I'm
proud to be a part of that."
    Organized by Saskatchewan Paralympic athletes and the Bedford Road
Collegiate, the event recognizes the athletes from Saskatchewan who are aiming
to qualify for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Summer Games, running from
September 6-17, 2008 in China. Student volunteers from Bedford Road Collegiate
will assist the athletes with the Paralympic sport demonstrations.
    "We are excited about this opportunity to raise awareness of disability
issues while recognizing some remarkable athletes whose perseverance and
dedication set an excellent example for our students," said Bedford Road
Principal Brian Flaherty.
    "Our Canadian Paralympic Summer team will be out in force in Beijing in
2008 and our country will have the honour of hosting the 2010 Paralympic
Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler," added CPC President Carla Qualtrough.
"The goal of the Paralympic Movement is to make the perception of disability
disappear, replacing it with accessibility, integration and equality. The
event at Bedford Road Collegiate should help contribute to this goal."
    Both Canada's women's goalball and wheelchair basketball teams have
already qualified for the 2008 Paralympic Games. Alsop will be attempting to
qualify for the women's goalball team and to represent Canada at her third
Paralympic Games.
    Franks was a member of the women's wheelchair basketball team that
qualified for Beijing with a second-place finish at the 2007 Parapanamerican
Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August. Moose Jaw, SK native Franks
was a wheelchair racer before switching to basketball. In racing, she won two
gold medals at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, and four gold medals and a
silver at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. In 2006, she became the first
player from Saskatchewan to be named to Canada's national wheelchair
basketball team.
    Van Nest finished fifth in Athens and fourth in Sydney in shooting, and
has also competed at the international level in rowing.
    Dupont and Shaw participate in wheelchair athletics, while Ryan competes
in goalball.

    About Canadian Paralympic Committee

    The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is a non-profit, charitable,
private organization that is recognized by the International Paralympic
Committee (IPC). The CPC delivers programs that strengthen the Paralympic
Movement in Canada, including sending Canadian teams to the Paralympic Games.
The CPC empowers persons with physical disabilities, through sport, at all
levels. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Norma Reveler, media relations, Canadian
Paralympic Committee, (613) 569-4333, ext. 227, norma@paralympic.ca


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