Oshawa, ON (November 17, 2023) – The Ontario Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (OCPSA) is pleased to announce that Craig Blackman as the newest member inducted into the OCPSA Builder Hall of Fame. Craig’s coaching career spanned over three decades and was pivotal in shaping para-athletics in Ontario.
His connection to athletics began when he was training as a high performance sprinter, attending the University of Oregon on a athletics scholarship. During this time he became a two-time All-American and continued to represent Canada at the 1972 Munich Olympics in the 4 x 400m relay. This lived experience has been a cornerstone to his coaching career, guiding his athletes through the intricacies of competition.
Remarkably, Craig’s coaching journey wasn’t a path he initially sought. He stepped into the role when 4 young athletes, including his own child, needed a coach. What started as coaching a small group of kids, evolved into a legacy that has impacted over 200 athletes with the “I Be Fast Track Club”, to which Craig was the founder and head coach.
Craig’s impact is not confined to the sports arena. For over 40 years, he has tirelessly advocated for inclusive communities, advocating for health and recreation for those with disabilities and at-risk youth. His commitment to inclusivity and community earned him the Coaching Association of Ontario “Everyone Matters Coach Award” in 2016.
“I have had the privilege of coaching alongside Craig, experiencing first hand his passion, positivity, and love for us all,” noted Amanda Fader, Executive Director of OCPSA. “Whether at the CP-ISRA World Champs or guiding Team Ontario at the Canada Summer Games, Craig’s influence has been transformative.”
The OCPSA Builder Hall of Fame honours individuals who exhibit a historical impact, achievements, and dedication to OCPSA over the course of their career. Their contribution has lead to the growth and development of sport for athletes with cerebral palsy and related disabilities in Ontario.
The Ontario Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (OCPSA) was founded in 1981 as a registered charitable organization for the delivery of sport to persons with cerebral palsy. Today, OCPSA is a leading sport organization in the province for persons with a disability, focused on sport development, participation and performance for athletes in Para-Athletics (Track and Field) and Boccia.
Organization Contact for Media Inquiries:
Juliana von Cramon, Program Manager
Ontario Cerebral Palsy Sports Association