Today is Mother’s Day, however, we also celebrated and remembered a wonderful being that’s impacted our family’s life. Paul MacDougall, co-founder of the Toronto Power Wheelchair Hockey League (TPWHL) along with his partner Esther Loumbardas has given so much to my brother and many of our friends who has played or is playing power wheelchair hockey. The effect the game had on my brother was so profound that when he wanted to be a sports reporter, the first topic he wrote about was his power wheelchair hockey experience when he started Sports Enables Me which later became Enables Me.
Here are my brother Torrance’s thought on the game and his memory of Paul:
To be able to play power hockey for 13 years, I was really excited when every Saturday comes around. It’s thrilling to play goalie, stopping tons of shots and helping my team. Paul was very encouraging of me and helpful during games to keep my hands warm. I remember one time during a game, he stood by the net with a blow dryer to keep my hands warm in between whistles. I am very thankful for Paul and Esther organising the league and tournament road trips, giving all their passion for helping us to play the great game of hockey.
Here are my mother Mimi’s thought on the game and her memory of Paul:
I remember signing Torrance up to a power wheelchair hockey summer camp which Torrance didn’t want to attend but after that summer experience, the sport has made my son Torrance really happy. I remember when we were at the 2008 PowerHockey Cup in Minnesota, Paul mentioned to me that his son Pauly, who also had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, had lost a lot of weight and suggested Torrance to start drinking Ensure. At that time I didn’t believe him until now.
I am thankful for what Paul and Esther has and continues to do for the game of power wheelchair hockey. Paul’s energy and genuine care for so many will be missed. I still remember just recently he wanted to recruit a player who’s parents did not speak English and insisted their son play, so he called me and asked for me to translate for the players’ mother who only spoke Cantonese. In the end, the mother agreed and another life has been transformed because of Paul’s passion and persistence to give an individual the opportunity to play a game that teaches so many life lessons.
Paul’s wish is for us to make a contribution to the Toronto Power Wheelchair Hockey League, you can contact Esther to make a donation to support the league that has helped so many!