Western University, Department of Communication & Public Affairs
Westminster Hall, Suite 360, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 3K7
Tel: 519-661-2045 • Fax: 519-661-3921
Former FIMS student advocates for blind hockey
Like many young Canadians, former Western FIMS student Mark DeMontis dreamed of playing in the National Hockey League. At the age of 17, he signed a one-year AAA hockey contract with hopes of playing in the NCAA on an athletic scholarship after high school. But just three months later, Mark’s dreams suddenly derailed after doctors told him he would never play hockey again. One week before his senior year of high school, Mark was diagnosed with Leber's Optic Neuropathy — a rare condition that took away the central sight in both of his eyes, leaving him legally blind.
At the age of 21 Mark founded Courage Canada so that boys and girls across Canada who were blind or visually impaired would have the same opportunity to learn to skate and play hockey he did growing up. He launched the organization by inline-skating 5000 km from Toronto to Vancouver in 2009, and completed the cross-Canada trek by inline-skating from Halifax to Toronto in 2011. The campaigns were supported by countless celebrities, athletes and politicians – Mark was even honoured by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and childhood hero Wayne Gretzky.
Accessible Media Inc. presents the 2013 Courage Canada National Blind Hockey Tournament taking place this Family Day weekend at Ryerson’s brand new state-of-the art Mattamy Athletic Centre – formerly known as the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens! There is no better venue for this ground-breaking competition, as Courage Canada hosts the first ever “true” Blind Hockey tournament.
Read the complete story at Courage Canada.
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