I’ve had a particular passion in accessible sport and physical activity since Bella was diagnosed with her disabilites. Navigating life while raising a disabled daughter has amplified my interest in learning about quality programming and experiences that prioritize equitable access to physical activities for Bella and our whole family. Disability is an important identity and it is great to see organizations taking the steps to view their programs, activities and services through the lens of disability.
“Initiate inclusion by invitation.” - Unknown
I don’t remember where I heard this phrase from, but it speaks volumes to me. Bella and I were recently asked to be ambassadors for The Freestyle 5K & 1K Kids Run, hosted by The Running Physio and The Canadian Running Series. Of course we jumped at this opportunity, as I’ve always believed that when organizations validate experiences of the disabled community, it also recognizes that disabled people are part of the community. Kudos to these 2 organizations for making the time to include families with disabilities, and creating an accessible space where everyone is welcome! So, what’s this freestyle race all about?
Whether you want to run, roll, skip, jump or dance across the finish line… you are welcome here! You can come solo or bring your family and friends, as this accessible route is a great opportunity for you to join our family and get active! Bella is excited to spring into Spring, and ride her red chariot while I push this growing 65lb+ teen through the 5K course in Sunnybrook Park.
The proceeds raised at this event will directly support Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitiation Hospital. It will gives kids with disabilities the opportunity to participate in much needed rehabilitation services and extracurricular activities they can’t participate in elsewhere like life skills programs or arts and music therapy. Here are some services and resources we have received over the past few years that have supported Bella and our family!
With your support it will give families the financial support they need to modify their homes and cars or medications offsetting the emotional and financial strain of raising a child with a disability. The event not only supports Holland Bloorview financially but it is giving kids and families the opportunity to participate in a fun, safe and accessible race welcoming and celebrating all abilities.
On Saturday, April 23rd look for us at the race as we will be trying our best to keep up with Speedy Petie and Queen B ;)
Petie also has submitted his artwork to support this race, come freestyle with us to see the final product! You may even get to take your own copy home too ;)