Para NB – Sport & Recreation was created by Ability NB in 2012 to address a lack of support for parallel sports, recreation and active living for people living with a disability in New Brunswick. We quickly identified that too many students with a disability were being left on the sidelines during their physical education classes. We discovered that while many teachers wanted to include all their students, they simply lacked the resources to do it. In response to this need, we collaborated with the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development in 2014 to help provide those desperately needed resources and create more inclusive options.
We began to add more youth-sized pieces, including multisport wheelchairs, hockey sledges with non-marking wheels and hand cycles, to our adapted Equipment Loan Service. All New Brunswick schools are now able to loan the equipment at no cost! (You can find more information and a link to our request form at http://paranb.ca/para-nb-equipment-loan-service/). This program allows children like Kaitlyn (see picture below) to go on that field trip to the local arena and skate with her friends for the first time!
Para NB attends professional development sessions to show PE specialists how to easily make their classes more inclusive for all their students. We will demonstrate the equipment and allow PE specialists to try it themselves so they will feel more comfortable using it in their classes. We give presentations or host “demo days” at schools with the equipment, allowing the children to play with the equipment in a fun and relaxed way. “There is always a positive buzz in the school when the equipment arrives and it truly is a highlight of our semester.” –Robin Buchanan, Physical Education Specialist, Oromocto High School.
Our goal is simple. We want to ensure all students, regardless of their abilities, are able to play and learn together in their schools. We believe it is important to everyone to build their FUNdamental movement skills and physical literacy to lay the foundation for an active, healthy lifestyle that will last a lifetime.
Para NB – Sport & Recreation is a provincial program offered through Ability NB. Para NB promotes the development and coordination of a system to engage all New Brunswickers with a physical disability in parallel sport, recreation and active living. For more information or to register with the Para NB database, please contact Matt or Wendy at www.paranb.ca