Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan's first provincial ParaSport relay begins

The Saskatchewan ParaSport Tour Dream Relay, a 10-day trek by 14 athletes from Prince Albert to Regina, begins today.

Dream tour relay was started by Paralympian Colette Bourgonje

Fourteen athletes are trekking across Saskatchewan for the ParaSport Tour Dream Relay. (submitted by Colette Bourgonje)

Starting today, 14 athletes will be relaying a dream catcher 363 kilometres across Saskatchewan.

The group is travelling from Prince Albert to Regina in 10 days and stopping at communities along the way to raise awareness about ParaSports and how people can get involved.

The Saskatchewan ParaSport Tour Dream Relay was started by Paralympic cross-country skier Colette Bourgonje.

"We have visually impaired athletes, amputee athletes and people in wheelchairs making their way to Regina," said Bourgonje.

The ParaSport Dream Tour will be stopping at 10 communities as the athletes make their way to Regina.

The first leg of the relay from Prince Albert to Duck Lake was done by Bourgonje along with Krystal Shewchuk, Marie Gareau and Cherish Notell, an 11-year-old from Prince Albert.

Bourgonje came up with the idea when a friend suggested that she should ski in the ditch along the highway to raise awareness about cross-country skiing in sit skis.

While she was training for her last Paralympics in Sochi, she thought that maybe it was time to do something fun with other athletes to promote physical activity.

"There's opportunities for [people with disabilities] and we just want to make them aware of all the various sports they can be involved in," said Bourgonje.

ParaSports include everything from mountain boarding and kayaking to rugby and tennis. 
Athletes will be passing a dream catcher from one another from Prince Albert to Regina. (Submitted by Colette Bourgonje)

Just Try It

There will also be Just Try It sessions at four schools across the province for people to try out ParaSports and see the various equipment that is used.

The Saskatchewan Wheelchair Sports Association will be hosting the event on the following days:

  • Duck Lake today.
  • Walter Murray Collegiate in Saskatoon on Saturday.
  • Swift Current Comprehensive High School on June 14.
  • Regina (TBA).

"Our goal is to have names and phone numbers of people who want to become physically active, whether they are five or 50, it doesn't matter," said Bourgonje.

"If we got 20 new people involved in sports that'd be huge. Awareness and recruitment are the two things we really want to acheive."

with files from The Afternoon Edition