Throughout men's and women's curling draws and hockey games during the 2010 Winter Games, the Canucks for Kids Fund, in partnership with VANOC, operated the 50/50 program selling tickets ranging from 1 for $5 to 10 for $20 with 83 live events held between Canada Hockey Place, UBC Thunderbird Arena and Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre.
Eighty-three winners walked away with cash in hand between February 12-28, 2010, but with 50 per cent of the proceeds benefiting charities that support amateur sports, the real winners are the athletes.
Prior to Wednesday night’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and Columbus Blue Jackets, representatives from BC Hockey, Curl BC and Disabled Skiers Association of BC (DSABC) will be on hand to receive a share of the $349,966 raised.
With BC Hockey using the money to support sledge hockey, Curl BC directing the funds to wheelchair curling and the Disabled Skiers Association of BC a beneficiary, disabled athletes throughout British Columbia will benefit for years to come.
The money being granted will provide the opportunity to purchase equipment, expand existing programs and launch new programs for all three benefactors, new programs that Brian Forrester, Executive Director of DSABC, can’t wait to get started.
“This is an amazing opportunity for BC’s disabled skiing and snowboarding community,” said Forrester. “Because of this funding, our Snowbility program will be able to introduce adaptive snowsports to remote communities across the province by helping to establish community based and volunteer supported clubs.”
Funds will be given to the 11 adaptive snowsport clubs already successfully operating throughout BC, according to Forrester, and, to his excitement, this boost in support will allow for the introduction of an adaptive ski and snowboard equipment access program.
“This program will provide much needed adaptive equipment to individuals with a disability who would otherwise be unable to afford the expense of purchasing such highly specialized and expensive equipment.”
For Curl BC and its Executive Director & CEO Scott Braley, a significant amount of the new resources will be put towards building awareness for disabled curling, which includes both physically and mentally disabled participants of all ages.
Curl BC has programs benefiting blind, deaf, Special Olympics, wheelchair and stick curling, a relatively new sport that provides challenge and excitement for people with physical disabilities such as knee, back, heart, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, ankle, or foot problems.
“Curl BC is delighted that the Canucks for Kids Fund and VANOC have decided to provide support to the grassroots development of Winter Paralympic sports,” said Braley.
“These funds will enable Curl BC to develop an adapted curling physical education program with the goal to overcome participation barriers experienced by children with disabilities throughout BC.”
Building a sustainable sledge program across BC is the goal of BC Hockey, a non-profit organization, which encompasses 150 minor hockey associations, 55,000 players, 4,500 referees and 20,000 official volunteers.
BC Hockey has formulated a five-part plan to improve its program, which includes building an inventory of sleds, increasing visibility through community participation, facilitating sustainable membership through program components, encouraging community commitment from existing teams, leagues and associations and establishing relations with agencies responsible for financially supporting sport and physical activity for the disabled.
Curl BC, Disabled Skiers Association of BC and BC Hockey have all set the bar high for their organizations and thanks to the Canucks for Kids Fund, VANOC and your support during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, their goals are within reach.