Martha Sandoval Gustafson Wins Bob Secord Award
Martha Sandoval Gustafson, a Toronto resident, has won ParaSport® Ontario’s Bob Secord Award. ParaSport® Ontario presents the Bob Secord Award each year to an individual who exemplifies character, integrity, and exceptional commitment to parasport. For ParaSport® Ontario that means a life-long commitment to sport that positively impacts others on their parasport pathways and journeys and contributes to the growth of the ParaSport Movement in Ontario.
Martha Sandoval Gustafson is Ontario’s Most Decorated Paralympian. Working as a secretary in her home country of Mexico, she never envisioned that coming across a group of people playing wheelchair basketball would change her destiny. Martha won twelve medals for Mexico at the 1976 and 1980 Paralympic Games. In 1981 she moved to Canada, and began training at Variety Village, in Scarborough. Competing for Canada at the 1984 and 1988 Paralympic Games in the track and field events, swimming and table tennis, she brought her Paralympic medal count to 19. Martha continues to be active in parasport today, curling and playing wheelchair rugby.
Bob Secord’s lifelong contribution to the development and advancement of people through participation in sport and athletic endeavours is well-known to Canada’s athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, organizers, volunteers, and the media. In recognition of Bob’s achievements, his family decided to initiate the Bob Secord Award of Excellence to be presented by ParaSport® Ontario to celebrate Bob’s ideals and invaluable contributions that are embodied by others.
The Bob Secord Award will be presented to Martha on February 18th, 2021 during The Power Within celebration, ParaSport® Ontario’s first online event. The event is a celebration for the release of a legacy publication titled The Power of ParaSport, a written history of parasports spanning five decades and detailing the visionaries, pioneers, milestones, and athletes in Ontario. The night will be attended by award winners and special guests including professional speaker Alvin Law, trainer and advocate Johannah Jackson, singer-song writer Justin Hines, and Paralympian Jeff Adams.