Wheelchair Basketball Athlete Joey Johnson and Builder Kathy Newman to Join Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame

(Ottawa, Ont.) Wheelchair Basketball Canada warmly congratulates five-time Paralympian Joey Johnson and visionary builder Kathy Newman on their inclusion in the 2019 class of inductees into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame.

“We are absolutely thrilled for Joey and Kathy and proud to see their immeasurable contributions and outstanding achievements be enshrined in the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame,” said Wheelchair Basketball Canada Executive Director Wendy Gittens. “They are two of the finest leaders and trailblazers in the Canadian wheelchair basketball community. Both have left an indelible mark on the sport and personified excellence throughout their accomplished careers.”

Johnson and Newman will be inducted alongside athletes Colette Bourgonje, Josh Dueck, Viviane Forest and Garett Hickling, and coach Joe Rea at the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame gala on November 15 in Vancouver.

Johnson was one of the premiere power players in the world and an absolute workhorse on the court throughout his 18-year career with the Canadian Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team. He is one of the most well respected individuals in the game for his work ethic, the intensity with which he played, and the manner in which he carried himself on and off of the court.

A native of Lorette, Man., Johnson’s list of accolades includes three Paralympic gold medals and one silver, a senior and junior world championship title, and countless national, collegiate and league championships within Canada and around the world. Whether he was competing on behalf of his country, his home province, his college or his club team, Johnson has made an impact and found success at every level at which he has played.

Newman, of Vancouver, is a tireless advocate who has dedicated nearly 40 years to creating opportunities for people with disabilities through sport. She pioneered several programs that have since been embraced across Canada, including the Bridging the Gap program, which connects newly injured people with disabilities to wheelchair sports.

Newman is an active member of the Wheelchair Basketball Canada board of directors, and also lends her expertise to the board of Wheelchair Rugby Canada and to the competitions committee of the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation.

Her influence has brought a number of high profile events to Canada, including the IWBF Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in 2014, the 2017 IWBF Men’s U23 World Championship and the inaugural IWBF Women’s U25 World Championship in 2011, in addition to prominent wheelchair rugby events such as the biannual Canada Cup and the 2010 IWRF World Championship.

The Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates those who have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the Paralympic Movement in Canada. These individuals will be acknowledged within the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame Honoured Members section located in the Olympic and Paralympic Gallery at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary.

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