Swscd profile image


September 07, 2018

Women's Para Development Day - Collaborating to build new sport skills

On a warm July summer day, more than twenty women and girls made their way to the City of Whitby's Iroquois Park Arena and the adjacent Abilities Centre for the chance to learn the ins and outs of sledge hockey and wheelchair basketball.  It was a great chance to play some games, learn new sports skills, meet a new friend or two and most certainly have a lot of fun all day long.  The event, co-hosted by the Ontario Wheelchair Sport Association (OWSA) and Women's Sledge Hockey of Canada (WSHC), marked the first time both organizations had collaborated to provide a Learn to Play program that gave participants the chance to learn multiple sports at one event.  An approach that many attending quite enjoyed. 

Are you a stand up hockey player who wants to know more about what it's like to give sledge hockey a try?  Have a read of our experiences at SeeWhatSheCanDo in the blog "Give sledge hockey a try: A guide to a hockey player's first time in a sled".

On Ice and On Court

The day itself involved playing two on-ice sledge hockey sessions, sharing lunch together and a full two hours of on-court play in the afternoon.  Christina Picton, a Canadian National Sledge Hockey player, and Christina Swett, a provincial wheelchair basketball player, were the key instructors.  Together with the help of other fellow national sledge hockey team members and provincial basketball players, both instructors focused on using games, drills and some scrimmaging to teach everyone the basics of each sport.  This approach enabled them to accomodate the variety of abilities and skill levels of participants and present new sports skills in a multiple of ways.  Indeed, from the smiles on their faces and the enthusiasm showed by the girls and gals playing, it proved to be very effective.

Who are the OWSA and WSHC

The Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association is the provincial governing body for four wheelchair sports including athletics, basketball, rugby and tennis.  Their mission as an organization is to grow wheelchair sport opportunities across Ontario and to provide athletes the chance to play at recreational, competitive and high performance levels. The OWSA also provides support to wheelchair sport clubs and programs across the province and helps give individuals with physical disabilities the chance to try something new, get involved and get active.  They are a member-based not-for-profit organization.  

The mission of Women's Sledge Hockey of Canada is to strive to help women and girls with disabilities to achieve long term participation and sporting excellence in sledge hockey and build a sustainable national sledge hockey program.  WSHC supports Try It programs, athlete and coach development programs, provincial programs as well as national level programs that support the women's national sledge hockey team.   

Athlete Gallery - The Women's Para Development Day.


Find the OWSA , WSHC and the Abilities Centre in our Athlete Advisor, your online athletic business directory. Find, rate and review programs, local community offerings and businesses that will help you do your thing.  

Post your upcoming sledge hockey and wheelchair basketball tournament or event in our SWSCD Hub.  Create a sledge hockey or wheelchair basketball group in our SWSCD Hub.

Look for advice, stories, news and more on our Ice Hockey and Basketball activity pages.  

Join our SWSCD Women's ParAmazing Circle.  Find more details on our SWSCD Women's Circles here and head to our ParAmazing Circle activity page to find stories, info and more.

Have your own sledge hockey or wheelchair basketball memory or moment you'd like to celebrate through SWSCD?  Share your highlights directly on our Discover blog or by using #seewhatshecando on social media and inspire others to get active.


Connecting you to active women, local groups, events, businesses and more.

Choose your location


Don't use my location, default to Toronto, ON.