Yesterday (Wednesday, Nov 4), the new federal cabinet in Canada was sworn in, and with it new names and titles of ministers. Below is my letter to the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, P.C., Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. This short piece from the Vancouver Sun breaks down her many accomplishments, demonstrating her preparedness for this job. I wish her all the best!
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, P.C., Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities,
Congratulations on your appointment as Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.
As you have already been so involved in sport and with persons with disabilities, I needn’t address the general challenges. However, I would like to draw your attention to persons with brain injuries. I was severely brain injured in a cycling accident in Victoria, B.C., while working towards my master’s degree in public administration (MPA) at the Univerity of Victoria in 2003.
Brain injuries are insidious. At a glance they may not be apparent. Even when a brain injury presents itself, it doesn’t do so in a uniform manner. Some symptoms are clearer and more present than others, but even the seemingly invisible effects of a brain injury can be major challenges to everyday living, let alone accessibility to sport and exercise. While I have been lucky enough to stay involved and, in some respects increase, my involvement in exercise and sport, there are many people who have not been so fortunate. Through my involvement with the Newfoundland and Labrador Brain Injury Association, I have seen the challenges and complexities faced by individuals with brain injuries in obtaining access to appropriate rehabilitation, sport and exercise programs
You know of the importance of sport and exercise and their positive impact on physical and mental health. Unfortunately, many in this country do not have access to many of these benefits. People may be hindered by geographical limitations, by personal physical limitations, and by their ability to pay (for transport or for access to facilities).
Exercise is not a privilege, it is an essential aspect of overall health. I am very impressed by the work you have done already for persons with disabilties and for sport, and I have every confidence that you will be able to make sport and exercise truly inclusive.
Congratulations once again! Thank you very much for your time.
Author, Detour: Cycling, coma, and living with a brain injury: https://leanpub.com/detour
Writer & Creator of Concussion Talk: www.concussiontalk.com
Concussion Talk Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/concussion-talk-podcast/id1042686652?mt=2