Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ontario Track 3 Association for Disabled Children

It’s amazing how everyday people can transform into everyday superheroes when they put their hearts into something. This past winter I had the pleasure of experiencing hundreds of superheroes with the Ontario Track3 Ski Association for the Disabled.

The first group of superheroes includes the kids. Ranging in age 6 to 19 years old, the Track3 children and teens live their everyday lives with the type of challenges that most of us can’t imagine. Paraplegia, amputations, Cerebral Palsy, Down, Visual Impairment, Autism... but like all superheroes, the obstacles go unnoticed as their superpowers define their greatness. The super-kids all share a few of the most common superhero powers like determination, fearlessness and happiness. They are infectious and influence others to also rise up and achieve extraordinary things.

There is nothing subtle about the expression of the Track3 kid’s superpowers. You can usually tell by an ear-to-ear smile, eyes that well up with pride and loud noises that sound like “yeeee-hooooo” or “Sweeeeet”. One of the most common side-effects is typically a bear hug or a high five.

The other group of superheroes is volunteers. Of course, they don’t know or think they are superheroes. That’s what makes them so special. Track3 volunteers ride the buses, check the equipment, dress kids warm, teach the skills, keep kids safe, and inspire the kids to discover their own superpowers within. The volunteers also share a few common powers like passion, commitment and selflessness. Making a difference in the life of a child is an addictive social virus. Infection (or affection) can occur from a single Track3 experience.

One volunteer worthy of special recognition is Tim Fryer. Tim committed his Saturdays to photograph the superheroes at Craigleith Ski Club and then he built a few photo videos that truly capture the essence of Track3, the kids and the volunteers. Take a look. I think you’ll see what I mean.

Thank you Tim! Thanks Volunteers, and especially thanks to the kids!
The Craigleith Idol Video is from a special fund raising and awareness event hosted annually at Craigleith Ski Club. Justine Hines performed as a celebrity guest and judge. Thank you Justin.
The Believe Video is the essence Track 3 spirit. Thank you Craigleith Ski Club.