Making strides: National group teaches blind youth to skate

Courage Canada gives blind and visually impaired children the opportunity to learn to skate and eventually learn to play hockey.

Five-year-old Tayla goes for a skate with BC Blind Sports’ Susan Flanagan.

Last Friday was a day of firsts for a group of Abbotsford and Mission children. Blind and visually impaired youth from the Abbotsford school district were given the chance to learn how to skate last week, many having never laced up before.

Courage Canada, a national registered charity founded in 2008 by blind hockey player Mark DeMontis, aims to provide Canadians of all ages with opportunities to skate and eventually learn to play hockey.

DeMontis founded Courage Canada at the age of 21, four years after his ambitions to play hockey were derailed by a diagnosis of Leber’s Optic Neuropathy – a rare condition that affected the central sight of both his eyes, leaving him legally blind.

The organization raises funds to help blind and visually impaired youth realize their potential in collaboration with district school board programs, and support blind hockey teams for adults across the country.

More than 250 children will benefit this year from the Courage Canada programs, and the organization plans to double that number in 2013.

According to Courage Canada, a tax-deductible donation of $20.12 helps to make the ice accessible for one blind or visually impaired child that season. Funds go directly toward the cost of ice rental, skates, equipment, transportation and instructors.

To learn more about their programs, go online to

Just Posted

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

UPDATE: Rockslide keeps Coquihalla northbound lane closed

Highway 5 is closed in one direction.

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

UPDATE: Wind warning ends for Metro Vancouver after thousands lose power

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

Guilty plea issued in case where man, 86, was assaulted and robbed

Hughie Stump pleads guilty to break-and-enter in relation to Abbotsford incident

VIDEO: Mission City Indoor Farmers Market returns

Market kicks off 2018 schedule on Saturday

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Chilliwack’s David Lee Roth wannabe denied bail on underage sex crime charges

Unusual history of David Kuntz-Angel includes being known for impersonating the rock star

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Justice group, fellow trustee, defending B.C. school trustee

Chilliwack school trustee facing increasing pressure to resign over LGBTQ beliefs

Giants, Rivermen on the NHL radar

Vancouver leads all WHL teams with five players on NHL Central Scouting list

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

Most Read