Josh Vander Vies, now a UBC Law student studying and training in Vancouver is coming home to Sarnia for the very first time since his 2012 Paralympic win!
Josh represented Canada in the London 2012 Paralympic Summer Games and captured a Bonze medal in Boccia Pairs.
“I am proud of the community legacy of sport excellence and inclusion that is evident in Sarnia. Growing up here helped give me the attitude that I would later need to take on the world’s top boccia players. I learned how to compete, adapt, and set hard goals. My Paralympic win in London was a culmination of over 10 years of learning about myself, getting stronger and smarter, and working hard on the boccia courts of the world. I can’t wait to share my medal with the community that made it all possible,” said Josh.
Sarnians will finally get their chance to welcome home their very own Paralympian and his bronze medal on Sunday Night; November 11 at 5 p.m. where Josh will be welcomed home at a public Open House in the Lambton Room at Pathways Health Centre for Children, 1240 Murphy Road, Sarnia.
“Josh has always been a great athlete and role model, encouraging children of all abilities to stretch their imaginations, dream and reach for the stars. We look forward to welcoming Josh home!” said David Schaller, Manager, Family and Community Services at Pathways.
On November 12, Josh will be visiting his Alma mater, Northern High School, where the students, staff and faculty will celebrate with Josh at a morning assembly.
"We welcome Josh back to Northern to address our staff and students. Josh's perseverance and community participation demonstrates how he is a positive role model for much of what we hope to instill in all of our students" said Northern High School Principal, Gary Girardi
Born without arms or legs, Josh has regularly been recognized as one of the world's top Paralympic athletes.
In 2006, the Boccia players of the world elected Josh to the International Boccia Committee as Athlete Representative. He acted as Athlete Council Representation on the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) Board of Directors, and chaired the CPC Athletes’ Council from 2008 – 2012 and is a current board member of AthletesCAN. Josh Vander Vies is an active Canadian national team Boccia player, 2004 Paralympian, 2011 Parapan American Games individual bronze medalist and now a 2012 Paralympic doubles bronze medalist.
Josh holds an honours double major in Political Science and French from the University of Western Ontario and is currently completing law school at the University of British Columbia. Josh is also a graduate of Northern High School and graduated from Lambton College in General Arts and Science.
Vicky Praill, Special Events and Group marketing Co-ordinator For tourism Sarnia Lambton said: “We welcomed home Derek Drouin and Dominique Pegg and now we finally get to welcome Josh home. I’ve had the pleasure of being part of several Ontario Para Sport Summer Games and have had not only the honour of watching Josh compete, but also the pleasure of working with both his mother and father on the Games and I can’t tell you how excited and proud I am to be able to finally welcome him Home!”