94 - Ontario Para Network

Bridging The Gap

Project Description

Bridging the Gap is a National outreach and education program specifically designed to introduce individuals with and without physical disabilities to adaptive sport and recreation opportunities in their communities.

Bridging the Gap believes that every Canadian should have the opportunity to be physically activity, whether they want to play recreationally, competitively or have Paralympic aspirations.
Key Components of the Bridging the Gap Program

  • ‘Have a Go’ Days: ‘Have a Go’ sessions can be in in rehabilitation or community settings, and provide opportunities for people to experience a variety of adaptive sports in a fun and supportive atmosphere.
  • Information/Education Sessions: Sessions for clinicians, teachers, university/college students, etc. to provide the information and resources needed to help get their students, clients or future clients involved in adaptive sports.
  • Equipment Loans: Participants new to adaptive sports can take advantage of our sport wheelchair loan program to ensure that the cost of equipment is never a barrier to participation.
  • Individualized support and follow up: Whether it’s connecting a new athlete with a program in their community, setting them up with a sport chair loan or accompanying them to their first practice, we’ll do whatever we can to make sure everyone has a positive first experience.
  • Athlete Ambassadors and Peer Mentors: Connecting potential athletes with a peer mentor helps to ensure a positive first experience.  

Bridging the Gap is currently supported nationally by Wheelchair Basketball Canada, Wheelchair Rugby Canada and Tennis Canada.

The proceeds from this fundraising will be
used for the following cause(s):

  • Travel to and the transportation of equipment to Bridging the Gap outreach and education sessions.
  • Honourariums for Athlete Ambassadors. Athlete Ambassadors are an essential part of the program as they can share their story and the way that participation in sport has impacted their journey.
  • Equipment maintenance and repairs.
  • Subsidize the cost of a specific outreach program (facility rental, facilitators, equipment, printed resources etc.)

How this project will assist in promoting
or developing amateur sport on a national

First Involvement and Awareness are two stages specific to the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model for Athletes with Disabilities. The Bridging the Gap Program introduces people with disabilities to adaptive sport opportunities and ensures they have a positive first experience. Through supports such as equipment loans and peer mentors, our goal is to keep people engaged in adaptive sport and offer development opportunities for those who aspire to play at competitive or high performance levels. All athletes regardless of their stage of development contribute to active and dynamic sport programs, practices and leagues.

Fund Admin

Doug Hannum
Executive Director


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