Meet BCMOS paddler, Trevor Ng
The summer of 2021 was a game changer for 9 year-old Trevor Ng and his family.
It all started when Trevor’s physiotherapist suggested to Trevor’s mom, Katy, that the family might want to explore BCMOS (British Columbia Mobility Opportunities Society) which offers adapted hiking and paddling opportunities for people with disabilities. Because Trevor is a non-verbal, special needs child with physical dependencies, his parents were delighted to learn that such an organization existed.
Katy and Eric, Trevor’s dad, thought that the hikes might be a bit too long for their son at his age. However, they were very intrigued by the adapted paddling program because ever since he was a baby, Trevor has always loved the water. He finds peace in the soothing, quietly rocking motion of the water. So they decided to give it a try. Best decision ever!
Katy and Eric felt very welcome right from the first time they went to the paddling site in False Creek near Science World. They mention that two staffers, Abbey and Charlotte, had everything prepped and ready to go for Trevor’s first paddle. The equipment was meticulously clean and in good order, and Charlotte and Abbey were more than ready to answer any questions or concerns that Katy and Eric might have had. They even addressed the needs of Connor, Trevor’s three-year-old brother, who was feeling kind of jealous because he wasn’t going to be able to go for a ride in a kayak!
But the best was yet to come. As Trevor and Eric, accompanied by a skilled BCMOS volunteer, glided out on the water in a kayak for the first time, Katy and Connor waited on shore. As Katy readied her phone to snap some photos, she could see the huge smile on her son’s face. And then she heard Trevor, her non-verbal son, giggle so loudly that she could hear it all the way across False Creek. It was truly a moment to be treasured.
Throughout the rest of the season, which runs from May through August, Trevor’s family could be found each week at the BCMOS dock. Sometimes Eric would accompany Trevor in the adapted two-person kayak, or sometimes he would be in the companion kayak while Trevor paddled with a volunteer. They have also tried out the specially adapted wheelchair paddle board. In hopes of expanding their experiences to sailing, they even attended Kids Day, an annual event hosted by the Adaptive Sailing Association (ASABC) at the Jericho Sailing Centre. All of the sailing sessions were booked, but they had fun anyway. Trevor has loved all of it.
“This has been great for us as parents”, say Katy and Eric. “We are so grateful that these kind of opportunities are available to us, so close to home and in such world-class locations. It’s also very affordable at only $10 for a one hour session. We’ve had some good family outings, and it’s been a great bonding experience.”
Katy and Eric have also been very impressed with the COVID protocols in place with both BCMOS and ASABC. The equipment was completely sanitized and cleaned between participants, all of the staff and volunteers wore masks, and all of the activities were outdoors. They report feeling completely safe.
When asked if they had any advice for other parents of children with disabilities, Katy and Eric suggest that “if in doubt, just check it out. It’s always worth it.” They often bring a treat to the folks who are working at the dock to show their appreciation. They also express their thanks to all of the sponsors and volunteers who make these programs possible. They still find it incredible that there is a dock dedicated to individuals with special needs in such a high profile location. They see it as a blend of communities, in which we can all learn from each other — and re-imagine what is possible.
Would you help people like Trevor participate in adaptive recreation with their loved ones? Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help individuals with disabilities get involved in adaptive recreation. Each donation goes a long way!