Author: kristian ferguson – sports writer
New exhibit showcases athletes with disabilities
In my brief time as sports writer, I have been introduced to a whole new world of sports and I am seeing it at an angle that is fresh and exciting. I get to see the human element of sport and not so much as a set of stats or win/loss ratios. This time, I am lucky enough to have been introduced to the spectrum of disabled sport and the marvelous people within it. John Loeppky, our sports editor, plays between thirty to forty of these sports including but not limited to, basketball, rugby, off-road death racing and professional crochet [Editor’s Note: ‘Tis true, well, okay, it’s not.]. As I have come to learn more about sport, I am beginning to see how vast and reaching it is to people of all backgrounds. The new “Exceptionally Abled” exhibit at the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) aims to educate others on the history of disabled athletes.
I was able to contact the SSHF’s Communications Coordinator, Autumn McDowell, about the new exhibit and what we can all expect to find from it.
“On display from now until April 4 is a celebration of the accomplishments made by athletes with disabilities. This exhibit features sport-specific displays with everything from wheelchair tennis, to para-waterskiing, para-athletics, and so much more. While we have featured exceptionally-abled athletes in displays in the past, this is actually the first time that we have had a stand-alone exhibit dedicated to all nine of our exceptionally-abled athletes, which we are very excited about!”
While the exhibit still has a month and some to go, you will want to check it out sooner rather than later.
“We are open Monday-Friday 10-4:30 and Saturdays 12-5. Some of the artifacts on display have actually been loaned to us and may not be on display at the Hall again, so come and see them while you still can!”
This exhibit is by no means permanent so if you want to learn more about the history of sport, now is the time.
Unfortunately, these athletes are oftentimes disregarded or not as focused on as their able-bodied counterparts. There is a very clear and apparent structural inequality as to why disabled people are not considered as often as those that are abled. Thankfully, Autumn and the Hall of Fame were well aware of that
“One of the reasons that we chose to feature exceptionally-abled athletes was because they often don’t get the recognition or attention that they deserve in mainstream media today, and we wanted to change that. 2016 is our 50th Anniversary, and we are really focused on celebrating all 505 of our inductees and exceptionally-abled athletes are a huge part of that!”
This exhibit is definitely something to check out for anyone who is interested in sports, not to mention that the entirety of the Hall of Fame is a wealth of information for those young and old.