Winter Adapted Games foster connection through sport

Students and Kingstonians with disabilities connect for a day at the ARC 

Image supplied by: Supplied by Julia Ebisuzaki-Mackay
The Winter Adapted Games returned to in-person this year.

On Saturday Jan. 28, Queen’s hosted the Winter Adapted Games (WAG). The event paired student volunteers with members of the Kingston community who have identified disabilities for a fun-filled day of non-competitive sports and activities. 

WAG is an annual event organized by Queen’s students in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies and the School of Rehabilitation Therapy. 

The event first began in 1991, but was put online due to COVID-19 in recent years. 2023 marked the first in-person WAG since 2020, much to the excitement of co-chair Eunice Pang.

“I personally have a sister with a disability, and I know events like these really mean a lot to her,” Pang said in an interview with The Journal. 

Pang was a volunteer buddy during her first year, and later joined the executive team as an event and activity coordinator. Now, as one of the co-chairs, she said seeing the event come to life is more fulfilling. 

“The best part, I think, is just being able to offer adaptive sports and games and activities to people with disabilities that unfortunately aren’t able to get that opportunity most of the time because of the barriers in place for accessibility and inclusivity.”

Pang pointed out that one common misconception about WAG is students must be in the School of Kinesiology to join.

“You don’t have to be a Kin student to get involved and you don’t necessarily have to like sports to get involved. There’s really something for everyone. There’s a lot of different positions you can get paired up with participants, you can run events, you can lead teams. It’s a really great experience that I urge everyone to be part of.”

WAG also incorporates different student clubs into their event, including a performance from Queen’s POM Team and a local student acapella group. Other events during the day included karate, crafts, sleigh rides, swimming, cookie decorating and yoga. 

Each of the event’s 80 participants were partnered with a volunteer buddy. Buddy positions are open to any student in any faculty at Queen’s, and over 100 students participated in the event. 

“Everything’s on a volunteer basis,” Alex Worden, a public relations representative for WAG, said in an interview with The Journal. 

“For all the participants, obviously it’s all free. We’ve gotten donations and everything, and fundraised to be able to give them t-shirts, food, and stuff like that.”

Similarly to Pang, Worden also began volunteering as a buddy during her first-year at Queen’s, then returned the following year to join the executive team. 

WAG held different fundraising events this year, including a coat check at the Kinesiology Semi-Formal, clothing drives, and a sticker sale. Worden said raising money throughout the year took a lot of hard work, but seeing the event come to life made it all worth it. 

“Seeing all of us work together almost every week and knowing how much each individual person is putting in, and then just seeing it all come together as one is kind of amazing.”

To find out more information about the event, or to find out how to get involved, visit the Winter Adapted Games website. 


ARC, WAG, Winter Adapted Games

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