What does 70-50-40 mean to the wheelchair sport community across Canada?  Well, 2017 is a really big year for the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association…and we mean a really BIG year!

  • It’s been 70 Years since the first activity in wheelchair sport started at Deer Lodge Rehabilitation Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1947.
  • It’s been 50 Years since the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association was officially incorporated in 1967.
  • It’s been 40 years since the Canadian Heritage Sport of ‘Murderball,’ or Wheelchair Rugby as it’s now known, was invented in Winnipeg, Manitoba..

As Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary, CWSA is celebrating these three milestones in the history of wheelchair sport in Canada.  We want to recognize our rich history and the significant achievements and contributions of the amazing people who made it all possible: the athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and partners.

So many people over the past 70 years were bold in their thinking, took risks to provide opportunities, challenged the norms, and were passionate in their endeavours.  People like:

  • Dr. Robert W Jackson, who as the first President of the CWSA, accepted the challenge from Sir Ludwig Guttman in 1964 to mobilize volunteers and athletes in Canada to assemble a team to attend the 1968 Paralympic Games, near Tel Aviv, in Ramat Gan, Israel.
  • Gary McPherson, who in 1978 purchased 4 limited edition Bricklin cars and raffled them off one at a time to ensure enough funds were in the bank to operate the association.
  • Outstanding athletes who were always trying innovative approaches to improve their performance such as Rick Hansen testing his racing wheelchair in a wind tunnel in Ottawa at the National Research Council, to determine the most aerodynamic set up to ensure optimum performance.

We have so many stories to tell and we want you to enjoy reading about our history.  We want you to share your stories, share your amazing photos and videos or to simply reminisce with our wheelchair sport community across the country. 

Spread the word so others can enjoy this unique time in our history.  Be a part of our planned celebrations this year either through social media or our special events.  And mark your calendars for our Grand Finale Celebration taking place in Ottawa in December.

Join us in saying Happy Birthday Wheelchair Sports!