Never Say Never

Shayne Smith has never let anything hold him back. Not the fact that he has no legs, nor the fact that he has only half a hand. And certainly not people who said he couldn't do something.

On March 6, the 23 year old Toronto native, and Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball hopeful, was in Greater Sudbury to speak to students at Copper Cliff Public School about the challenges he's overcome in his life and how important it is to believe in themselves.

Shayne’s message to students is powerful. “There's only one thing that stands between you and your dreams — it's yourself,” he says. “I've gone so far beyond where that barrier was set for me. If I can do it, why can't you?”

Smith's visit was part of the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Paralympic School Week, which ran Feb. 21-24. The Copper Cliff students took part in the initiative by designing posters, which will be hung in the athlete's village at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

According to Maureen Andersen, an Intensive Support Program teacher at the school, getting the kids involved was a way to open their eyes to a broader world.

“It was an opportunity for us to learn more about the upcoming London 2012 Games, and for the students to understand more about the Paralympic Games and different athletes,” Andersen said. 

“I think the kids are changed forever,” she added. “They see him as the star that he is.”

You can find out more about Shayne in Glowing Hearts, Play to Podium and visit his website shaynesmithonline.com.