The 25th anniversary of the Man in Motion World Tour kicked off last summer and the countrywide journey will be bringing the Rick Hansen relay team to Greater Trail next week.
Hansen’s relay team embarked on a nine-month cross-Canada tour last summer, and the organization created partnerships with a number of local participants and visiting over 600 communities. On April 24, the relay is scheduled to leave Castlegar at 11:40 a.m. and finish with an End of Day Celebration in Trail at 3:30 p.m.
Although Hansen will not be present at the event, he distinctly remembered visiting the Greater Trail area during the first tour in 1987.
“One of the big highlights for me was going up that big hill out of Trail, up the Rossland hill. That was one of the biggest physical challenges on my journey,” said Hansen. “And, of course, it was lined with thousands of people who were encouraging me to get up that hill and get one step closer to home.”
The 25th anniversary has encouraged locals to get involved in the relay. The Rick Hansen Foundation has identified “global champions,” who live their lives by creating examples for other people.
“The world is smaller and more connected so we can build a global community and people from the Kootenays can be a part of that,” said Hansen.
Kaeden Magner, Ian Lockey, Marylynn Rakuson have been dubbed as a group of notable medal bearers because of personal achievements.
“It’s bringing back memories from the first tour, I still have a box of clippings from the Trail Daily Times about the event,” said Rakuson.
“That’s part of the reason that Trail is so accessible for wheelchairs. I think the Rick Hansen relay made people more aware of issues for the disabled.”
Other local participants include: David Grantham, Kristine MacGillivray, Morgan Albo, Sarah Mcauley, Vince Mills, William Burkholder and Terry Martin. Martin, the endurance athlete for the silver anniversary of the ‘Man in Motion World Tour,’ will be carrying the medal from Castlegar to Trail.
The Trail End of Day Celebration will for the community of greater Trail in Gyro Park at 3:30 p.m.
The relay heads up the hill on April 25 making a stop in Warfield at 1:30 p.m. behind Webster School. Participants will arrive near the Warfield Village office around 2 p.m. and meet around 3 p.m. at the Warfield Community Hall.
“Kimberly Joines, a paralympic skier from the area, will be the last one for this leg of the tour,” said Teresa Mandoli, the recreation co-coordinator for the Village of Warfield.
The journey continues to Rossland with the End of Day Celebration at the Rossland Miners’ Hall at 3:30 p.m.
The relay will resume on April 26 at Maclean Elementary School at 11:30 a.m. and then will travel to Grand Forks. The Rossland choir will be performing two songs.
Prior to the stop in Trail, Hansen, an avid fisherman and conservationist, will be in Castlegar on April 23, for the annual sturgeon release festival. The sturgeon release will take place at Hugh Keenleyside Dam (southwest side) on April 23, at noon and the event runs until 3 p.m. Hansen is scheduled to be on site for a speech at the opening of the event and will leave at 1 p.m.
For more information, visit the Rick Hansen Foundation website.