Story 2: Stan Stronge
In 1940, 29-year-old Stan Stronge was injured when a tree crashed through the driver’s side of his car. Before his spinal cord injury, Stan had been a high-level soccer player, winning the 1936 Canadian national championships with the New Westminster Royals and even being asked to try out for an English 1st Division team. Post injury, he was unwilling to give up his love of sport, so in 1950 he and Doug Mowat teamed up with other athletes to form the first wheelchair basketball team in BC, the Dueck “Powerglides.”
Stan went on to become a player, mentor and motivator to others, inspiring players like Gene Reimer, Kevin Earl, Peter Colistro, Jeff Standfield, Reg McClennan and Rick Hansen to become involved both on and off the court. Stan was also instrumental in the formation of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association and the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society, and dedicated countless hours to coaching Paralympic swimmers and organizing BC’s involvement in Para Pan Am games until his retirement. He has been inducted into the BC Sport Hall of Fame and has a pool named after him at the George Pearson Center.
Stan Stronge is remembered as a passionate builder of wheelchair sports in BC whose legacy continues to this day.