Elementary students learn wheelchair sports at Kamloops school

Stu Wymer, a 41-year-old quadriplegic, is wheeling around the Marion Schilling Elementary school gym in Kamloops, teaching students how to play sports in wheelchairs.

It was teacher Jennifer Jones' idea to bring Wymer in to teach students how to play wheelchair sports.

"We thought [Stu] was a really good example of how someone can show resiliency," Jones told Daybreak Kamloops producer Courtney Dickson.

Breaking stigma

Wymer has been in a wheelchair for 11 years, and has been playing sports such as basketball, rugby and sledge hockey ever since.

Wymer hopes to teach students at the school that everyone can play sports.

"There's water skiers and sit skiers, and sledge hockey for hockey players. I play all of those sports, but in my own way with adapted equipment....every sport you do can be done in a wheelchair," said Wymer.

"Lets break that stigma of can't do and let's make it can do."

School District 73
School District 73

Grade 6 student Cambria Osbourne, said she's learned how to play basketball and volleyball in a wheelchair.

"Anyone is able to do it, even if they're not able to walk," said Osbourne. "So I think that's really nice, that people are able to do anything."

Learning resilience

Each month, the teachers at the school zero in on a different attribute to teach students, such as perseverance or responsibility.

After students spent time with Wymer, Jones noticed students shifted their thinking from 'I can't do it, it's too hard' to a more 'can do' attitude.

"It's been really cool the way resiliency has kind of taught itself this month thanks to Stu," said Jones.

Jones hopes that students will apply this lesson outside of wheelchair sports.

"Across the board I find that what we've learned from school about resiliency really transfers to a wide variety of situations."