May 6, 2014

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DJ Lam, Resource Coordinator, PIRC

Having an injury doesn’t mean we can’t have fun — whether we’re on wheels or walking. And about 40 community groups will provide proof of just that Thursday afternoon at G.F. Strong’s Recreation Resource Fair.

The smoky smell of free food off the barbecue sets the scene for disabled musicians and demonstrations that range from sports to the arts, which are common draws for the annual fair. It’s a place to meet peers and to find new mentors or coaches.

G.F. Strong Recreation Resource Fair Event

Resources are available for almost any activity on land, sea or in the air.

There’s the clash of chairs in wheelchair rugby or the serenity of adapted yoga and Tai Chi. Then there’s adapted sailing, scuba diving and skydiving. Groups exist to help people break barriers and ‘hike’ trails. But the arts are also accessible through such venues as adapted music and mixed theatre.

Learning to scuba dive

It’s a one-stop shop that reminds everyone about the mental and physical benefits of recreation — an umbrella of activities that break people free from work, school and daily doldrums.

Both physical or cognitive injuries provide people with unexpected down time. Recreation always has a place to play, though. We don’t lose our joy of painting, need for speed, and everything in-between. Choices adapt as we do with our injuries.

‘Fun’ is something often missed or forgotten about after injuries. This happens both within care settings and in the community. Rehabilitation may focus more upon other therapies. And outside, it can be a challenge to connect with people and groups with interests that strike a cord and offer opportunities.

But, walking or wheeling makes no difference; we are all going somewhere. Give the recreation fair a go. You could end up on a stage or jumping out of a perfectly good airplane in a few months.

The event runs 3:00-5:30 p.m. on Thurs., May 8, in the G.F. Strong gymnasium at 4255 Laurel St., Vancouver. Contact Shannon Gibney for information by email () or by phone at 604-737-6468.

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