Today CNIB showed its support for Courage Canada’s national programs in Toronto. Despite warm temperatures outdoors, students from the Toronto District School Board who are blind and partially sighted had the opportunity to strap on skates and glide around the ice at Weston Lions Arena.
“CNIB is proud to support Courage Canada’s learn to skate and blind hockey programs,” said John Rafferty, CNIB President and CEO. “Learning how to skate and play hockey are rites of passage for Canadian children. Courage Canada helps CNIB carry out its mission by giving kids who are blind or partially sighted the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in these truly Canadian activities.”
This season, over 200 blind or partially sighted youth from 13 regions across the country are participating in Courage Canada’s learn to skate and blind hockey programs.
Through these programs, Courage Canada teaches youth who are blind or partially sighted the importance of living healthy, active lives by introducing them to the fundamentals of skating. As part of the program, students also take part in an off-ice leadership workshop that helps them build character, confidence and leadership abilities that they can apply in their own communities.
Courage Canada was founded by Mark DeMontis, whose dreams of playing in the National Hockey League were derailed after he was diagnosed with Leber’s Optic Neuropathy, a rare condition that took away his central sight in both eyes, leaving him legally blind.