The 2021 Cruisers Sports Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place on March 10th, 2021 at 7pm via Google Meet -- meet.google.com/yit-mwhd-ptq
While anyone can attend the meeting, only members who meet the criteria in the by-laws can vote. Due to the digital format this year, we are requiring members to register to vote, PRIOR to March 8th, 2021 at 11:59pm.
If you haven't registered to vote yet, please do so now: https://cruiserssports.wildapricot.org/event-4126011
This year, some Director positions are up for one-year elections to fill their normal terms. This is a great introduction to the Board. These positions are:
The following Directors are up for their normal election of two-year terms:
Information on how to nominate is online, and in the included nomination form.
Nominations MUST be received by February 21st, 2021 at 11:59pm.
More information can be found online: www.cruisers-sports.com/agm
Welcome to 2021!
I hope the holiday season and the start of 2021 have treated you well. Not a lot has happened as we are still in the provincial lockdown, however, a couple of our athletes are training in hopes of Tokyo 2020 this summer!
2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The Board made the decision to hold the AGM virtually this year, due to uncertainty around COVID restrictions. While we would love to see all of you, we don’t feel that is going to be possible in March. Please look for the full AGM notice this coming weekend and, if you haven't already, mark your calendars for MARCH 10th, 2021 at 7:00pm.
Because we will not be able to host the AGM in person, you will need to register to vote, or register your proxy on your behalf. Please take a moment and register to vote: https://cruiserssports.wildapricot.org/event-4126011.
Juniors Para Ice Hockey Weekly Zoom call
Cruisers Juniors working hard during their virtual Sunday strength training and stick handling drills via Zoom.
50 Years of ParaSport in Ontario
Over the next month, ParaSport Ontario will be sharing stories of iconic members who have helped shape the ParaSport community in Ontario over the past 50 years. If you don't currently follow ParaSport Ontario on their social media accounts, we highly recommend you do and keep an eye out for former and current Cruisers Sports members being showcased!
ParaSport Ontario's first post featured our very own Martha Sandoval Gustafson! To honour this recognition, we sat down with Martha and asked her about her career, her accomplishments, and advice she would give to our current members.
Spotlight on Martha Sandoval Gustafson
Martha Sandoval Gustafson, one of Cruiser’s and Canada’s most decorated athletes, was inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame in 2020. Martha was born in Tampico, Mexico in 1950. Martha contracted polio when she was young, and while the illness impacted her mobility, it definitely did not affect her drive and determination. As a child and into her teens, Martha and her family were not aware of parasport opportunities in her home country. It was not until she was in her twenties, while at the Institute of Rehabilitation in Mexico City, that Martha saw a group of people in wheelchairs playing basketball. In that moment, she knew she had to meet them and instantly became involved with the team. This was a turning point in Martha’s life, for up to this point, there were no sports available to her so she had no opportunity to get involved in what would become one of her greatest loves.
Inspired by her new friends, Martha started training when she was 24 years old. In one month, with determination and a vision, she learned how to swim. Her new friends introduced her to all different types of sports: archery, table tennis, track and field and of course, swimming. After graduating from secretary school, Martha played sports for a year and after this year of introduction, she started to train internationally. It was a very exciting world for Martha.
Only two years after her introduction to parasports, Martha entered her first international competition representing Mexico. In the 1976 and 1980 Paralympic Games, Martha won a total of twelve medals. By this point, she had developed a serious competitive bug and wanted more for herself as an athlete. She was driven to compete at a higher level and moved to Canada in 1981 where she started training at Scarborough Variety Village. After a few years, Martha represented Canada in track and field, swimming and table tennis and brought her Paralympic medal count to an incredible 21 medals. Through her hard work and dedication, she has won more than200 medals at international, national and provincial events, and ranks as Canada’s second most decorated Paralympian.
Martha became involved with the Cruisers in 2005 and says her involvement with Cruisers Sports was critical to her sports career. It was at this time she met Ken Hall. She says Ken was the perfect fit from a coaching perspective and the Cruisers team immediately felt like family. She states that an underlying thread throughout the Cruisers community was a love for sport and an incredibly supportive team. In our interview, Martha asked if she could give a special shout out to Coach Ken. “Thank you for always treating us like family, with respect and for taking our sports and journeys so seriously. You are tough, but this toughness is good for me as it has always pushed me to want to be better and do better.”
When asked if she could share some of the secrets to her success with aspiring athletes, Martha credited the fact that she loves to train and she is disciplined. She creates training schedules and sticks to them saying it is the hard work dedicated to training that is responsible for her success. At the end of the day, Martha is committed to getting her training in every day, no matter what. She also credits her family for her success, as her family never treated her differently than anyone else. As a result, Martha felt that she could do anything and always knew she had her parents’ full support, which meant everything to her! She also thanked her son, daughter and her whole family for their support and love as without them, she wouldn’t be where she is today. Finally, she credits her positive and happy disposition to some of her success, as it has allowed Martha to make friends easily and helped her connect with her teammates and peers.
I closed the interview by asking Martha what was specific advice she has for other aspiring athletes in the Cruisers community. Her wise advice was as follows:
Finally, during this critical time of COVID, Martha wanted to finish the interview by reminding the Cruisers community, “we need to continue to be strong and we have to stay focused on doing things that make us happy. We must be thankful for life and we will be back to sport soon”.
Congratulations to Martha Sandoval Gustafson for her recent induction into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame in 2020! We are so proud that she is part of our Cruisers family!
The Board also wants to give a huge shout out to Sherene McDonald and Josh Watson--our incredible social media team. They’ve created an exciting and interactive social media program across our social channels to keep everyone engaged, and their incredible efforts are not going unnoticed! Thanks Sherene and Josh!
Well, until next month, stay safe, participate in team Zoom calls, and have fun!