Laurel Crosby has been involved in wheelchair sports since 1979 and is well known for her outstanding involvement, leadership and commitment. She first started as a volunteer at G.F. Strong and later with BC Wheelchair Sports Association as a coach. Along the way, Laurel realized her true passion and strength was in team management.
Laurel has been on the Board of Directors with the BC Wheelchair Sports Association for 39 years and on the Board of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association for 26 years. She has also been the President of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association (1993-1997), President of the Canadian Paralympics Committee (1997-1998), is the past Vice President and the President elect of Wheelchair Rugby Canada and the President of BC Wheelchair Sports.
Laurel has managed teams at the BC Summer and Winter Games for the Disabled and several National Championships. Internationally, Laurel has managed teams competing in Paris, Puerto Rico, Seoul and Australia and was the Chef de Mission for the Canadian team at 1992 Summer Paralympics in Barcelona. During the 1980’s Laurel developed junior sports camps for athletes with disabilities starting with the first National Junior Camp in 1984 in Toronto.
Laurel’s awards and achievements are impressive and she has been recognized over the years for her commitment to wheelchair sports. Some of the awards are the 125th Confederation Medal of Honor, Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award, Sport BC Daryl Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award, the Promotion Plus “In Her Footsteps” Award. Besides carrying the Paralympic Torch, Laurel was chosen to light the cauldron at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics. For her volunteerism and advocacy for athletes with disabilities, Laurel was inducted into the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association Hall of Fame in 2017.
She believes her greatest achievement has been “the promotion of awareness of athletes with disabilities throughout the able body community.” Laurel is proud of being a part of a change in attitudes towards athletes with disabilities where these competitors are now seen as “…athletes, not as athletes with disabilities.” She stays involved because she loves to work with athletes and volunteers and she loves the challenges she faces with each event. For all Laurel has done and continues to do for athletes, we are honored to induct Laurel Crosby into the Delta Sports Hall of Fame.