The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) celebrated the final day of the Games and acknowledged the strong government support for the Paralympic movement in Canada at Parliament Hill on 21 March 2011 by announcing its 2011 Para-equipment Fund (PEF) Recipients. The Minister of State for Sport, the Honourable Gary Lunn, presented some of the first pieces of equipment to be distributed in 2011 through the CPC's PEF.
"One year ago today brought the closing to a truly memorable performance by our Paralympic athletes at the 2010 Winter Games. Canada's Paralympic athletes are an enormous source of pride and an inspiration for all Canadians," said Minister of State Lunn. "Our Government is proud to support the Canadian Paralympic Committee and to promote greater awareness of Paralympic sports."
The equipment distributed through the PEF was received by athletes and representatives of the Ottawa Odyssey Boccia Club and the Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario Association (SHEO). Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games medallist in Para-Alpine skiing Karolina Wisniewska and 2010 National Sledge Hockey Team players Marc Dorion, Jean Labonté and Hervé Lord were on site to showcase the ongoing legacy of the Games on the Para-sport grassroots community.
"The 2010 Games ushered in a new era of progress and growth," commented Canadian Paralympic Chief Executive Officer Henry Storgaard. "During the Games, one of the most recognized measurements of success was the increase in awareness and the impact on participation in the grassroots community. The PEF encourages all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport by providing adapted sport equipment to clubs across the country and removing this potential barrier to participation.''
Following the 2010 Games, there has been a surge in equipment requests at the first contact and recruitment levels. In 2009-10, 26 organizations and clubs applied to the PEF program, which was able to provide $50,000 CAD in equipment funding. This past year, 86 organizations submitted applications to the CPC and a total of $250,000 CAD in equipment grants will be provided in part due to enhanced government and corporate partnerships.