The Canadian Blind Sports Association (CBSA) has announced the athletes nominated to represent Canada at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games (7-15 August) for men's and women's goalball.
Both teams feature a mix of veterans and newcomers, who look to help Canada obtain a qualifying berth for their teams at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The men’s team will be led by veterans Bruno Hache, Brendan Gaulin and Ahmad Zeividavi. They will mix with young players Aron Ghebreyohannes, Blair Nesbitt and Simon Richard, who are all expected to be impacts on offense and defense.
"We feel that the men's team which is nominated fulfills both short-term and long-term goals for the CBSA," head coach of the men's team Danny Snow said. "Short-term, our goal is to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games; long-term, our goal is to be a podium potential team for the next two Paralympic Games."
The veteran players on the women's team – Amy Burk, Whitney Bogart, Cassandra Orgeles, Ashlie Andrews and Jillian MacSween – are vying for a berth in the gold medal final. Tiana Knight adds to the defense of the team and will allow the coaches to move the players around more than in the past.
"I whole-heartedly support the teams nominated, and feel that both the men and the women have a great chance to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games," high performance director for CBSA Shane Esau said. "These teams combine both great defensive skills with exceptional offensive skills."
The men's team finished fourth at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, while the women's team took the bronze medal. The women are coming off of a bronze medal win at the recent 2015 IBSA World Games in Seoul, South Korea, in May, when the men finished out of the medals.
The Parapan goalball competition will take place at the Mississauga Sports Centre in Mississauga from 8-15 August.
With a goal of finishing in the top three nations in the total medal count, Canada is expected to send approximately 220 athletes to the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games from August 7 to 15.
Head Coach: Danny Snow
Assistant Coach: Darren Hamilton
Co-coach: Trent Farebrother, Castor, Alta.
Co-coach: Nathalie Seguin, Quebec City, Que.
*Denotes past Parapan American Games experience