The Paralympic Foundation of Canada's (PFC) ParaTough Cup will be heading to Toronto and Calgary over the coming month, it has been announced.
Toronto will stage the premier fundraising event for Para-sport in Canada at the University of Toronto Athletic Centre on February 22, before Calgary plays host at Repsol Centre on March 6.
The aim is to continue to provide the chance for participants to experience the excitement of Paralympic sport for themselves.
A half-day event, ParaTough Cup features teams of six people competing in Paralympic-inspired challenges, including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and wheelchair racing. Teams entered in the event, many of whom are from the corporate community, have committed to raise at least $3,800 to participate.
A number of local Paralympians will be on hand in each city to support the participants as coaches, officials and ambassadors. Among the ambassadors in Toronto will be recently-retired Para-Alpine skier Erin Latimer and dual sports star Cindy Ouellet, who competes in wheelchair basketball and Para-Nordic skiing, while Rio 2016 Paralympic swimmer Tammy Cunnington will be in Calgary.
More athletes are due to be confirmed closer to each event date.
"Events like ParaTough Cup are so important to raise funds and raise awareness about Para-sport," wheelchair basketball player and London 2012 gold medallist Chad Jassman, who will be the co-MC in Calgary, said.
"There are opportunities out there for people with disabilities to play sport, but we need to help them access those opportunities and that requires support from the community.
"I'm excited to share my story at the event and it should be a really fun afternoon."
This will be the third annual ParaTough Cup in Toronto, and its debut in Calgary.
More than $358,000 has been raised in the two years since the inaugural event was held in 2017. Most recently, two editions in Montreal and Vancouver last November contributed $111,000 toward the development of Para-sport in Canada.
"It's always great to see people come together at ParaTough Cup to support Para-sport, see what it’s all about, and learn from some of Canada’s incredible Paralympians," Dean Brokop, director of the PFC, said. "We’re looking forward to the Toronto and Calgary events, and are confident the teams will have an amazing day and come away with a new appreciation of the Paralympic Movement. It’s thanks to events like ParaTough Cup that we can support so many initiatives for athletes with a disability such as providing quality Para-sport programming, coaching and equipment."
The PFC is the philanthropic arm of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and believes that every Canadian with a disability should be able to imagine themselves at the start line. It raises funds to provide more Canadians with a disability the opportunity to be active in their communities and strive for success on the world stage.