Home - Thank you, Toronto Parapan Am Games!

GEM Creative Writing Intern Vanessa Mugoa in her ParaPan Am Volunteer Gear outside Varsity Arena (Photo by: Morgan Roy)

Thank you, Toronto Parapan Am Games!

As the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games have come to a close, so has my time volunteering with them during this past week.

I was lucky enough to be stationed at the Pan/Parapan Am Fields (PAF) once again, and work alongside the same group of volunteers I was with during Pan Am. It was wonderful to see all their faces and collaborate as a team a second time around!

I got the chance to see some football 5-a-side games at PAF, which I did not know much about beforehand. It is just like the football (soccer) game that would typically come to one’s mind. The exception: the athletes are visually impaired and wear blindfolds. The only members of the teams not wearing blindfolds are the goalkeepers and the team guides, who are positioned on both ends of the field and direct the players towards the target. Everyone watching the game must be absolutely silent, as the players rely on their hearing in order to hear their guides and the rattling sounds that a special ball makes during play. Even though Pan Am was over, its energy carried onto the Parapan Am Games, and I got to witness that as spectators cheered on their teams.

In all, the Toronto 2015 Games have been quite an adventure – a fun and exciting one! I am grateful for being given the opportunity to be one of the 23,000+ individuals chosen to volunteer for this historical event in Canadian and Pan/Parapan Am history.