Congratulations to Mitch McIntyre, this month’s Bridging the Gap Participant of the Month. Recently, Mitch McIntyre represented Team Saskatchewan for the first time when he competed in the Prairie League Wheelchair Rugby Tournament in Edmonton. He’s also become involved in wheelchair tennis after attending a Bridging the Gap learn-to-play program. Despite sustaining a spinal cord injury only 18 months ago, Mitch has made impressive progress since he began participating in the Bridging the Gap program.
We sat down to talk to Mitch about how the Bridging the Gap program has impacted his life and what his plans are for the future.
Q: What is your injury and how did it occur?
A: I have a spinal cord injury at C7, which has rendered me an incomplete quadriplegic. I was a passenger in a single vehicle rollover at a high rate of speed on a gravel road on July 5th
Q: What did you enjoy about the Bridging the Gap program?
A: Bridging the Gap was a good starting program to give me the confidence I needed to pursue competitive sports again. It also helped me learn new skills with adaptive sporting equipment and introduced me to wheelchair sports I didn’t know about.
Q: Why did you want to try wheelchair sports?
A: I wanted to try wheelchair sports because I was very involved in sports right up until my accident and I felt like I was missing a big part of my life post-injury.
Q: What do you like about wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis?
A: I like rugby because it reminds me of hockey, which I played very competitively for most of my life. It’s a great team sport with options to go places with the right amount of training.
I attended the wheelchair tennis program at the field house and really enjoyed it. The coach taught me a lot in a short amount of time and when he returns from the Philippines I hope to pick up where we left off so I can participate in a tournament this summer. I like tennis because the rules are similar to able-bodied tennis and I can still play with my able-bodied friends. It’s an easy sport to pick up and you don’t need much equipment aside from the chair and a racquet. It also has many opportunities to play at high levels and travel, and it can be played outdoors.
Congratulations, Mitch! We’re so proud of your progress and we can’t wait to see where you’ll go in the future.
If you know a Bridging the Gap participant who deserves to be a Bridging the Gap participant of the month, email email@example.com with a brief summary of his or her accomplishments.