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Archie Allison: Paralympic Trailblazer

Congratulations to Archie Allison, ParaSport Ontario Board Member, for his induction into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame which recognizes and celebrates those who have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the Paralympic Movement in Canada.

Joining him in the class of 2017, among the group of five uniquely accomplished individuals, was Paralympic swimming medallist and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, the Honorable Carla Qualtrough. The quintet was honoured at a gala in April in Ottawa.

Allison, of Toronto, Delta, B.C.’s Qualtrough and Maureen Orchard of Winnipeg, Man., entered the Hall in the builder category. Named in the coach category was Ozzie Sawicki of Cochrane, Alta. Para alpine skier Karolina Wisniewska (hometown Calgary, Alta., now living in Ottawa, Ont.) was named in the athlete category.

Allison is a legendary figure at Toronto’s Variety Village, a centre that helps people with a disability develop a healthy lifestyle through sports, fitness and physical activity. Allison currently serves as the centre’s Director, Access and Awareness and has been on staff since 1984. Over that time, it is estimated that Allison’s tireless efforts have helped countless thousands of students, coaches and volunteers from schools and community groups experience the power of inclusion and the joy of physical activity.

Also a coach, special event organizer and instructor at colleges and universities across Ontario, Allison is particularly noted for creating a fun learning approach to get people involved in ParaSport. He established an integrated leadership camp which has led to outreach and physical education programs to over 10,000 students in Ontario each year. He also holds weekly classes at the University of Toronto, Humber College and Centennial College on inclusive recreation.

He is also the recipient of numerous awards and has been inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame and the Toronto Sport Hall of Fame.

“The outstanding achievements and the pioneering successes of all our inductees is a wonderful cause for celebration and recognition,” said Karen O’Neill, CEO of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “Congratulations and thank you to each one of them for their trailblazing careers and dedication to excellence in Paralympic sport.”