Next month, inclusion advocate, Matthew Corkum, will summit Mount Fernie to raise funds for a local charity that runs inclusive children’s camps.
Corkum was diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy when he was 18 months old, and said his experience growing up had not been an inclusive one.
“In Nova Scotia at the time of my childhood I was never able to find activities that that included everyone, so most of my childhood was spent on our family farm growing giant pumpkins and holding up traffic with a farm tractor,” he said.
“When I started university my peers started to include me more and since moving to Calgary I’ve found a rugby club (Calgary Canucks) who include me in everything they do.”
Corkum has also learned to ski through Rocky Mountain Adaptive after assuming he’d never get to experience downhill skiing, making him a keen advocate for any and all programs that encourage inclusivity.
“It has not only has improved my physical health, but my mental health and confidence which I can carry to all parts of my life.”
So despite his lack of hiking experience, next month he’ll be hiking up Mount Fernie to raise funds for UPLIFT, which runs inclusive camps for children, and are looking to start a new multi-sport camp for those of all abilities, “a cause I really believe in,” said Corkum.
“People with disabilities don’t want to be stuck at home or in a camp just for those with disabilities, they want to be around people who have the same interests as them, regardless of ability. This camp will help do this and teach all kids how to be inclusive to everyone.
“When I heard UPLIFT was thinking about starting a camp for all abilities, I knew I had to help make this happen through awareness and raising money.”
You can join Corkum on his hike up Mount Fernie on October 8 at 9am. All are welcome to join, and afterwards there will be a celebration of a successful hike at the Fernie Taphouse, at which Corkum will speak about inclusivity in sport. For more information, head to the event’s Facebook page; “Inclusion Warrior Summits Mr. Fernie: Putting the Ability in disability”.
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