The Canadian Paralympic Committee held Connexion 2021 for female athletes ©CPC

The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) has held a virtual event over two days called Connexion 2021, with an aim of providing women with information on Para sport and the tools and resources to get involved in or stay active in sport.

A total of 25 participants were involved in Connexion 2021, including Christa Akins, who became a wheelchair user four years ago.

She is now a rower and added that she loved learning more about different sports that are available for different disabilities.

"I really liked how the coaches put out the personalities that are good for sports, so if you like endurance, you are right for this sport," said Akins.

"It helps you identify with a sport.

"The Nordic [skiing] coach did a great job in saying 'we see deer, and we see elk, and we are in nature', and I connected with that and thought, 'wow, I want to try Nordic skiing for the winter."

This event was funded by the Innovation Initiative component of Sport Canada's Sport Support programme and saw presentations from Athletics Canada, Canoe/Kayak Canada, Nordiq Canada, Canada Snowboard and Alpine Canada.

Candice Combdon said the event
Candice Combdon said the event "lit a fire under her" ©CPC

Sports scientists from the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario and Institut National du Sport du Québec, as well as sports psychologists, recreation therapists and active and retired female Paralympians.

"Being part of an entire weekend where there were female athletes and people that shared the same experience and trials and tribulations that I did, even meeting women who got into sport later than I did or as late as I did, it meant a lot," said wheelchair tennis player Candice Combdon.

"It lit a fire under me to say this is possible."