Marni Abbott-Peter, a three time gold medalist in the Paralympics for wheelchair basketball and Let’s Play director for the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society, teaches students how to use sport-oriented wheelchairs. (School District #83 photo)

School District #83 rolls out wheelchairs for physical education

Sport wheelchairs, available for schools to use, help students develop empathy

North Okanagan-Shuswap students will be developing more than their upper bodies through the use of sport wheelchairs in gym class.

Schools within School District #83 now have access to wheelchairs for students to use during PE classes.

In May, Marni Abbott-Peter, a three-time gold medalist in the Paralympics for wheelchair basketball and Let’s Play Director for the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society, visited schools in the North Okanagan-Shuswap. She brought with her a set of sport wheelchairs and taught students how to use them.

Read more: Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save man in wheelchair stuck on railroad tracks

Read more: Okanagan woman turns 104, takes tandem wheelchair ride

The idea to have a set of sport wheelchairs available full-time within School District #83 came about when Abbott-Peter’s sister, Kira Limber, a teacher at Shuswap Middle School, brought in one of the wheelchairs for her students to try during PE class.

Laura Paiement, SD83’s healthy schools and self-regulation coordinator, saw this and wanted to expand the idea to the district.

Abbott-Peter applied for two grants, one for the chairs and another for the trailer, to take them to and from the various schools in the district.

Paiement says among the positive impacts of having wheelchair games and sports in PE classes is the opportunity for students to develop empathy. Also, having the wheelchairs has increased students’ desire to participate in activities.

“Not everyone feels very confident because they may not be confident in their skills,” Paiement said. “But when everyone is in the wheelchairs we have a level playing field.”

Read more: Man in wheelchair escapes Cultus Lake mobile home fire

Read more: Wheelchair boxing demo prompts jab at national movement

The students are taught basic wheeling skills through obstacle courses followed by games of tag. From there, various sports are introduced. The children decide what games they would like to play. The popular recess game four square was modified so the kids could play it while in the chairs.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Students learn to use the district’s new chairs by playing tag. (School District #83 photo)

Just Posted

Home loss ends season for Sicamous Eagles

A defeat at the hands of the 100 Mile House Wranglers on Feb. 22 was the Eagles’ last outing.

PHOTOS: PeeWee Silverbacks finish season with 22 game win streak

The team has gone undefeated since November last year

Word on the street: What is your favourite pie-related memory?

With the 24th-annual Best of the Shuswap Pie Baking Contest taking place… Continue reading

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read