As part of its orientation activities, Ryerson University is inviting students to participate in events such as an afternoon of wheelchair basketball and sledge hockey.

“The reason we are doing this is that wheelchair basketball and sledge hockey are part of our larger mission in Recreation to provide inclusive and accessible programming,” Client Services and Program Outreach specialist Kathryn Maksym said.

On Thursday, there were varsity basketball players laughing alongside freshmen students and seniors in the gym at Kerr Hall.

Cori Whitlock, a freshman from Chicago, had fun trying sledge hockey, but he said it was difficult coordinating both hands and using both ends of the sticks.

“It’s kind of strange to move from pushing, to blocking something and my arms just don’t do that well enough yet!

Claire Buchanan, a former National wheelchair basketball player and current national sledge hockey player, said she was there to give pointers to the new players.

Sledge hockey players hold a stick in each hand, using the bladed end to control the ball and the other end to push off. Buchanan says that being ambidextrous “is a huge game-changer! And when you get to the higher levels of the game, that’s really a requirement!”

Ibrahyim, another first year student, said the experience was eye-opening.

“I think I fell countless times and I was thinking when I was playing, if I was in a wheelchair and I fell multiple times, I wonder how those people are able to get back up?”

Ibrahiym says he appreciates how events like this embrace diversity in school, especially in a city like Toronto.

“I see people who are Muslim, people who are South Asian, who are mixed, black, white whatever, Métis, and I think oh, that’s really such a really good representation of Toronto.”