Laurel Crosby has been inducted into the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association Hall of Fame on Dec. 16, after nearly 40 years of volunteerism and advocacy for sport for people with disabilities.
The Ladner resident first started volunteering in 1979, initially with the British Columbia WheelchairSports Association, and then as a member on the board of directors for the B.C. association and the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association. From 1993 to 1997, she was president of the Canadian association; from 1997 to 1998, she was president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.
Crosby also volunteered for at the sport level, leading both provincial and national teams in tournaments like the B.C. Summer and Winter Games for the Disabled, and several National Championships. Later, Crosby went on to manage Canadian teams at the international level at events in Paris, Puerto Rico and Seoul. In 1992, she served as Chef de Mission of the Canadian team at the Summer Paralympic Games in Barcelona.
In addition to overseeing wheelchair sports from an association level and team level, Crosby has also spearheaded an number of campaigns to bring the sports into greater prominence in Canada.
She developed junior sports in mid-1980s, creating the first National Junior Sports Camp, held at Toronto’s Variety Village in 1984, and coordinated a National Junior Sports Camp in Richmond.
Crosby has also spearheaded programs throughout the able-bodied community, particularly at the school level, for a better understanding of attitudes toward people with disabilities. During her career as a principal in the Richmond school district, she arranged demonstrations of Paralympic sport and brought Paralympic athletes into the school to talk to students, aiming to promote inclusivity to her students.
Crosby has previously received the Sport BC Daryl Thompson Lifetime achievement award and the Promotion Plus In Her Footsteps award.
She remains active in B.C. Wheelchair Sports and is a director of Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association.