Oakville celebrates 25th Anniversary of Rick Hansen Man In Motion World Tour at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex

Friday, November 11, 2011 – for immediate release

Oakville celebrates 25th Anniversary of Rick Hansen Man In Motion World Tour at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex

Last night, Mayor Rob Burton, Members of Council and hundreds of residents cheered on Oakville’s official medal bearer Melissa Vassallo as she entered Sixteen Mile Sports Complex to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Rick Hansen’s original Man In Motion World Tour.

“Anniversary celebrations are often a time for reflection and I distinctly remember the original Man in Motion World Tour. Rick Hansen’s determination and spirit is inspiring,” said Mayor Burton. “In our community, Melissa is a passionate advocate for accessibility issues. I know that she will continue to be a strong ambassador for Oakville.”

As part of the stop in Oakville, residents enjoyed a recreational skate and Sledge Hockey try-it event with Cruiser Sports, and had a chance to chat with Vassallo over cake before the official ceremony at the Oakville Blades game. An additional recreational skate sponsored by MEDIChair rounded out the celebrations.

“As a person with a disability, I’ve dealt with adversity and work hard to break down existing barriers to accessibility,” said Vassallo. “Not a day goes by where I’m not advocating for inclusiveness. I’m honoured to be part of a national event that pays tribute to people from all walks of life.”

In 2002, on a road trip to a sailing regatta, Vassallo was involved in a tragic car accident that almost claimed her life. After years of rehabilitation, she focused her passion by becoming an advocate for accessibility and authored the book Round Two: Don’t Just Survive, Thrive. She is currently studying at York University for her Masters in Critical Disability Studies.

The 25th Anniversary of Rick Hansen’s original Man In Motion World Tour recognizes outstanding collaborative leadership and honours the extraordinary progress made in the areas of accessibility and research towards a cure for paralysis after a spinal cord injury.

In 1985, Rick Hansen kicked off his solo Man In Motion World Tour. In 2011, one Man In Motion will be celebrated by many in motion with thousands of Canadians walking, wheeling or running in the nine-month, 12,000 kilometre relay that retraces the Canadian route of Rick’s original World Tour from Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador, to Vancouver, British Columbia. From Oakville, the Rick Hansen team will make its way to Hamilton, Ontario. For more information visit the Rick Hansen Relay website.

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Media contact:

Janine Ivings
Senior Communications Advisor
905-845-6601, ext. 3005
jivings@oakville.ca


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Oakville celebrates 25th Anniversary of Rick Hansen Man In Motion World Tour at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex