April 12th, 2024

Lethbridge Sport Council to host six-part series on breaking barriers

By Lethbridge Herald on November 7, 2023.

SUBMITTED PHOTO Colton Ribling will be a speaker in the six-part series where he will talk about his experience in para sport. He went from playing able-bodied lacrosse to para ice hockey and wheel chair tennis.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Lethbridge Sport Council is hosting a  six-part  series called   Sport for All: Breaking Barriers,  beginning later this month.

The series will be of interactive and educational workshops that places a focus on  the creation of a welcoming, inclusive, accessible and a safe sport experience that will have speakers speak about their experiences and areas surrounding the subjects.

“So when my position started I was doing a lot of researching and connecting with different groups, (and) understanding things that make the sport environment inclusive for them or not inclusive, as well as different barriers that people experience,” said Keegan Brantner, Lethbridge Sport Council community coordinator, Sport For All.

“So through all that research and conversations with different organizations and people, we thought it’d be a really good idea to host this workshop series to hopefully educate sport organizations, admin, parents (and) coaches on ways that we can make the sport environment more inclusive, and welcoming and accessible for all people.”

Brantner said there’s definitely a lack of inclusivity in accessibility programming, as well as there’s right now no women and girls’ only programming.

“Which is a barrier for many women and girls from different cultural or religious backgrounds,” said Brantner.

“As well, I think that sport organizations aren’t necessarily aware of how they can make their programming inclusive or accessible to different people.”

The first session on Nov. 23 will focus on Playing Together: Unite Through Sport where Chad Chief Moon and Jennifer MacPherson from Spirit North will speak about  working with Indigenous athletes. There will be a presentation on sport anti-racism and inclusivity for REAL movement.

The second session  on Dec. 6 is called Connecting Newcomers: Building Community and Inclusion Through Sports.

Community members will answer questions about their sport experience while coming to Canada as a new comer.

Para in Sport: Inclusivity and Excellence takes place on Jan.24, 2024 and the  work shop  is on how to become para ready from the Steadward Centre in terms of  personal and physical achievement.

 David Legg, former Canadian Para Olympic Committee president, will speak on his  experiences in adaptive physical activity, para sport and the para sport pathway.

Feb.8 will have a presentation of Sports without Boundaries: Panel and it will have individuals have a question and answer period about their involvement in adaptive sport and para sport.

Dawn Keith will present strategies on how to keep women and girls in a sport as a coach, while Lethbridge Sport Council executive director Susan Eymann will talk about taking on a leadership role in sport as a woman and its challenges during the Keeping Women and Girls in Sport on Feb.28.

The last session will have attendee learn from Allison Forsyth about Safe Sport on April 27.

The first five sessions will be at the Lethbridge Sport Council community room.

More information on registration and times can be found at


“I think the biggest thing with this series is that we’re always learning and just attending this series, it’s not going to solve sport and fix sport in Lethbridge,” said Brantner.

“But as a community we need to be a collective around making the sport environment more inclusive and welcoming, accessible and safe for everyone of all different backgrounds, ages, abilities and experiences in sport. So I think that this is a really good starting point for our community. But just knowing that there’s so much that we can learn in sport.”

The hope is to do a continuation of the series in the future. 

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