About Abilities In Motion
We Promote & Encourage Inclusive Paddling
All have a right to access activity on their terms. Inclusion is a practice that allows individuals to participate to their ability. This is a self-exploration of fundamental skill development that contributes to overall health and a life-time of leisure activities and learning physical pursuits. Our mission is to break barriers of accessibility to on-water recreational activities to individuals with disabilities.
Our charity aims to incorporate adaptive equipment, training, and programming into any and all organizations that offer on-water recreational activities in North America
At Abilities In Motion, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy paddling.
The concept of kayaking for people with disabilities appeared while Pauline Halstead (our Executive Director) was attending Humber College.
The idea was confirmed when Tracy Schmitt (Unstoppable Tracy) attended a class as a guest. She was walking slowly around the room. It was noticeable that Tracy did not have two arms or hands. When asked if she could kayak, Tracy said, "Of course." That was it, adaptive paddling in Ontario was born.
In 2000 adaptive kayaking started in a small way, and then became known as Paddles and Boots Inc. Pauline trailered the boats to various locations but Earl Rowe Provincial Park became our home. Each year the interest increased and we were starting to gain momentum.
In 2009, Paddles and Boots became Abilities In Motion, a non-profit organization. That same year, Andy Owens (our Alliston Location Manager) joined and offered adaptive canoeing. Over the years, adaptive equipment has evolved and we expanded our locations.
In 2017, Abilities In Motion dipped its toes in London. With two established locations, Earl Rowe Provincial Park in Alliston and the Fanshawe Conservation Area in London, we continuned to grow, not only offering adaptive paddling but creating an inclusive community of paddlers, volunteers, sponsors, family, and friends.
In 2019 we opened up a new era for Abilities In Motion when we achieved charitable status. Now donors can receive tax receipts, and we now have the ability to raise the fund we need to achieve our national goals.