Para-sport athletes feel 'embraced and enveloped by the spirit of Niagara' after break-in

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Organizers of a para-sport program in Niagara are continuing after more than $22,000 worth of equipment was stolen or damaged.

Brock Niagara Penguins Volunteer Director Karen Natho was unsure about the future of the program for people with physical disabilities after a break-in two weeks ago.

"Even though things were looking like we weren't going to be able to continue the program we stepped up, we had some tweaking, we had to do a couple of changes, we had to ask some athletes to come to a different class time, and we had to ask some athletes to go on bikes that perhaps didn't fit them properly."

Natho says the stolen gear will be very hard to sell and encourages the thieves to leave the equipment at any St. Catharines city facility so the club can reclaim it.

"It's not going to be easy to find a buyer for hand-cycles or a racing chair even though they are expensive pieces of equipment. It's going to be hard. So, you now, just return the equipment."

Natho says the organization has received many phone calls from various businesses and members of the community.

"We do really feel embraced and enveloped by the spirit of Niagara. People know this was a bad thing and this shouldn't have happened to a volunteer club. All we want to do is empower people with physical disabilities to be active out in their communities."

The group will be hosting a pasta dinner at Club Belvedere on April 8th to raise money to buy replacement gear.

 

Click here to listen to Karen Natho's full interview.