Paralympian Jolan Wong demonstrates Sitting Volleyball to students.
Peter L. Smith
L’ISLE-AUX-ALLUMETTES – Dr. Wilbert Keon School in Chapeau held a Paralympic day on Friday, March 25. The highlight of the day was a visit by a sitting volleyball paralympian, Jolan Wong from Pembroke. She demonstrated how volleyball could be played even with a handicap.
At the age of 13, Wong lost her right leg due to bone cancer. She plays as a “libero” on the Canadian women’s sitting volleyball team. A libero is a defensive specialist responsible for making sure no balls drop in any part of the court. They are required to stay in the defensive end of the court and may not move to the front row.
In February 2020 Wong helped Canada secure a spot in the 2020 Paralympic games in Tokyo by winning a gold medal. She was deemed the best libero at the World Para Volleyball final qualification tournament in Halifax. Wong is currently a ParaSport Ontario athlete ambassador, and a full time homeschooling teacher of her two children. Students at D.W.K.S. were impressed by the skills and techniques she demonstrated.
Other activities were organized for the students throughout the day such as sit floor hockey and sit bowling. The day-long event showed students that adversity can be overcome in the school, at home and in the workplace environment by maintaining a strong community. The song by the group ABBA, “I have a dream”, summed up this event perfectly.