Nathan DeWitt is a superb athlete who is a part of the Canadian Para-National Team and specializes in wheelchair racing. He has been racing for 9 years and was a team member of the 2012 Canadian Paralympic team. Recently, he participated in the 2016 Canadian Para Track & Field Championships Selection Trials in Montreal and succeeded in getting a silver and two bronze medals in 100 m, 200 m and 400 m respectively.
We caught up with the wheelchair racer long enough to hear first-hand how sport and recreation have influenced his life:
What type of cerebral palsy do you have?
My cerebral palsy is called spastic diplegia. This affects my lower limbs in terms of tightness and flexibility. It makes it difficult to walk or stand for long periods of time but I can still do a lot of things unassisted.
Can you tell us a bit about your educational background?
I have a business management diploma from BCIT. I do a lot of volunteer work with adaptive programs for sports and educating the public.
What does wheelchair racing mean to you?
When I first started out, it was about getting to the Paralympics but now it’s more of an active for life sort of thing. I enjoy it. When I’m not training it feels weird and it feels like somethings missing. I think once I retire from athletics it will still be something I will continue to do recreationally until I’m not able to.
What are your future aspirations?
In terms of personal growth, I’d like to have a permanent full-time career preferably working in sports in some aspect whether it’s able-bodied or disabled. In program development, developing programs and creating awareness for people with disabilities and the opportunities that are out there for an alternative in sport, whether you’re able-bodied or disabled. It’s due to my cerebral palsy as well as my knowledge in and around my athletic career and through my education. I have a passion for educating people on alternatives to sports they might not be aware of.
Many thanks to the Paralympian for all his hard work and dedication in representing Canada! Nathan will also be at the Life Without Limits Gala as our Keynote Speaker and we couldn’t be happier with him being involved with our Play Without Limits theme
Learn more about the Life Without Limits Gala