TORONTO- The Ryerson Rams men's and women's hockey teams as well as members from the figure skating squad teamed up with the Skate to Great organization on March 7 at Weston Arena to help 20 blind and visually impaired children step onto a skating rink for the first time.
The event was organized through collaborative efforts by Skate to Great, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) as well as with the Ryerson Rams hockey programs and Ryerson University which provided transportation for the 13 volunteers. The event was held by Courage Canada for the benefit of children from the Toronto District School Board. FedEx also provided skates for the 20 participants who stepped onto the ice earlier this month.
Courage Canada, through corporate and social partnerships strives to:
• Provide the opportunity for Canadians who are visually-impaired to learn, develop and enjoy the game of hockey in a safe and fun environment such as skating and skills development camps as well as structured games
• Help instill strong leadership characteristics such as courage, confidence and sportsmanship both on and off the ice in their communities
• Promote healthy and active lifestyles among all youth and adults.
Wearing their Rams colours, the student-athletes helped teach the 20 children to skate and shoot pucks. Volunteers from the men's hockey team were: Mark Corbett, Morgan McNeill, Dean Willmott, Louie George and Mike Toman; from the women's hockey team: Kaitlyn Mullett, Nella Brodett, Mackenzie Manning, Jessica Hartwick, and Melissa Wronzberg; and from the figure skating team: Lisa Jensen, Christina Pulla and Katie Holmes.
This event is one of the 13 Courage Canada plans on holding this year. Upwards of 200 kids coast-to-coast are expected to learn to skate and participate in blind hockey programs.
For more information on Courage Canada or to make a donation, visit their website at www.couragecanada.ca.