Stick and Stories

What started as a special hockey stick for a young boy is now a one-of-a-kind book for young readers. A book about the power of sport called GLOWING HEARTS II – Skates and Skis for All Abilities.

The story of one special stick sets the stage for the stories in an exceptional book celebrating physical differences and cheering physical activity for all called Glowing Hearts. The book chronicles how sports give kids of all abilities the power to believe, achieve and dream big.

Publisher Jeff Tiessen, 45, lost both hands in an accident when he was 11 years old. “I never thought I’d play sports again,” he admits. But his father thought differently and made a modified hockey stick that his son could use with his prosthetic hands.

Tiessen played hockey again, and learned something very important about himself along the way: “If I could play hockey again with two artificial arms, well… maybe I could do anything if I tried.” Twelve years later Tiessen stood on the podium at the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul, Korea with a gold medal draped around his neck for a world record-setting run on the track.

“I never dreamed that I would be a Paralympic sprinter,” he confesses. “I had trouble believing that I’d be a Peewee hockey player again. But a funny-looking hockey stick gave me the power to believe and to dream. Look what can happen with that kind of power.”

From those experiences, and with the support of a number of partnering organizations, including the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons, theCanadian Paralympic Foundation, and Air Canada and Scotiabank, Tiessen brings a special message about the power of sport and recreation to a new generation of kids with disabilities. The Glowing Hearts series inspires children with, and without, disabilities to get active and reach their potential through the power of sport! It focuses on abilities, not limitations.

With fabulous photography, colourful layouts, moving quotes and emotional stories from children and Paralympians alike, the message is clear that all kids can achieve their goals regardless of differences.

Geared for youth ages 9 to 14 (Grades 4-8), Glowing Hearts will touch the hearts and minds of Canada’s youth in an extraordinary way. “The book is rich with contributions from a team of Junior Journalists,” Tiessen enthuses, “making the special messages about self-esteem, empathy, teamwork, goals and dreams relevant and real for young readers.”

- Brenda McCarthy

For more information or to order visit www.glowinghearts.ca or call 1-800-725-7136. An interactive online edition of Glowing Hearts is available at www.glowinghearts.ca as well. Jeff Tiessen can be reached at (905) 957-6016 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tags: sports