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Josh Vander Vies Returns Home with Special Message for Northern Students

November 13, 2012

Sarnia, On - 2012 London Paralympic Brozne medalist Josh VanderVies returned to his roots to speak to students and staff at Northern Collegiate yesterday.  The UBC second year Law student has travelled to six out of seven continents competing in the sport of boccia that included the London 2012 London Paralympic Games where he won the Bronze in Boccia doubles with his partner Marco Dispaltro from Quebec.

"It's so awesome to be back in Sarnia as this is the community that made everything possible in my life."  said VanderVies before the assembly "These are the people who pushed me and supported me when I needed it and when I was on that podium it was so awesome because it was over 10 years of hard work that finally paid off and now I get to share my medal thatís pretty sweet."

His message to the audience was entertaining and serious.  He even challenged the Mayor of Sarnia to a game of Boccia to explain the game of Boccia to the audience.

"Iíve been all over the world and itís opened my eyes and given me lots of opportunities also the confidence to make my own opportunities and thatís when I started to live and find my success."

"My message today is that none of us are super heroes. We all struggle with many things in our lives, With motivation, circumstances that are beyond our control and what Iím hoping to do is share some principals that I applied to my life, to my training and to my goal setting that helped me to succeed. 

In his message to the students Josh asked the question, "Imagine what it would be like in your lives not to have any arms or legs what would that be like what would you be able to do?"

All went quiet then Josh proceeded to climb down off his chair and then suddenly shouted out
"You Don't Know What I Can Do"

"I donít know what I can do and Iím always surprising myself by setting goals for myself that I never thought I could achieve and doing what it takes to achieve those goals."

He encourages all to set goals and to work towards and not be afraid to make mistakes because you don't know what you can do until you try.

Vander Vies will continues to play Boccia, his goal is to compete in the next Paralympics in Rio in 2016.













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