David, Pierre and Murray also getting to know their neighbours as they ‘Adopt-a-SPOT’
Michelle Strutzenberger

David, Pierre and Murray are channeling their shared passion for sports into sponsoring a children’s baseball team in their hometown of Port Coquitlam this year.

The three men have varying disabilities and don’t participate in many sports themselves.

“But they thought it would be a lot of fun to be able to sponsor a team and cheer the team on and get to know people through the sport,” says Pam Balog of posAbilities.

Pam works with the men and was part of a group from posAbilities that supported them in figuring out ways to engage with their local community.

The sponsorship idea was suggested by someone who was both aware of the men’s interest and that children and youth teams are always on the lookout for support.

David, Pierre and Murray also love being outdoors, which they could have lots of opportunity to enjoy attending practices and games, Pam says.

In addition to donating funds and rooting for their team, the men’s support will include helping with their team’s fundraising activities through the summer. Recently, it meant they joined their team as members marched in the annual Port Coquitlam May Day parade.

Pam sees great potential for this initiative to lead to new connections in the community.

Keeping "their" block clean.

Keeping “their” block clean.

It can also help in shaping the world view of the young players the men are supporting. The children get to know that people who have a disability are a part of the community – and are contributors to the community.

David, Pierre and Murray also recently “took ownership” of a block in their neighbourhood through the Port Coquitlam Adopt-a-SPOT program. It’s a way for local residents to join in keeping public spaces clean, safe and beautiful.

A plaque has been mounted by the city identifying David, Pierre and Murray as the block owners under their chosen name of Oxford Superheroes.

The three men are responsible for Westminster Ave., South Suffolk Avenue and Coquitlam Avenue between Cambridge and Oxford Streets.

Once a week they traverse the block, picking up garbage and looking out for safety hazards.

Residents in the area have already noticed their efforts and acknowledged them. The men are getting to know some of their neighbours on a first-name basis as a result, Pam says.

This summer, David, Pierre and Murray are also responsible for organizing their neighbourhood’s block party. Local residents take turns making arrangements for the annual event, and the three men are next on the list. They will be arranging with the city to close the street for the gathering and co-ordinating the activities and food.

Pam says there are several new stories cropping up of people who have a disability in the area who are contributing to building their local community in unique ways.

— More to Come

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