• Story 25: Laurel Crosby

It’s hard to find someone more dedicated to wheelchair sports than Laurel Crosby. Since 1979, she has worn countless hats in the wheelchair sports world: team leader, committee chair, president of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association and the Canadian Paralympic Committee, board member, liaison, torchbearer, educational consultant…the list goes on. In fact, when Laurel Crosby decided to add motherhood to her long list of responsibilities, she even timed the birth of her children so that they wouldn’t conflict with her work with wheelchair sports.

“Laurel Crosby has never wavered in her commitment to wheelchair sports,” said Kathy Newman, Executive Director of BC Wheelchair Sports. “She’s as enthusiastic now as she was the first day she started.”

Laurel became involved in wheelchair sports through her connection with G.F. Stronge and over the past 32 years has been active in nearly every aspect of the community. She was instrumental in the creation of a national junior wheelchair sports camp, which paved the way for more opportunities for junior athletes. As an elementary school principal, she is in a unique position to raise awareness about wheelchair sports and has helped the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games and the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships create schools programs that will actually be used by teachers. Laurel was also the team leader for the 1988 Paralympics in Seoul and the 1992 Paralympics in Barcelona and her positions on the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association and Canadian Paralympic Committee boards have helped her influence policy on a national scale.

“It’s through leaders like Laurel that BC has been a leader both nationally and internationally in wheelchair sports,” said Kathy. “What she’s done is really amazing.”

Recently, Laurel was instrumental in the success of the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships. She devoted 4 years to the event as the Chair of the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships society and spearheaded the creation of a teacher’s resource package and schools program. She even managed the event’s successful silent auction.

Over the years, Laurel has also made her family a part of the wheelchair sports family. Her husband John has worked behind the scenes as a volunteer for many years and her two sons were active in wheelchair basketball for many years.

Thanks, Laurel, for your dedication to wheelchair sports. Here are some photos of Laurel in action: