With the funding support provided by the Quest for Gold Program, Shelley has been able to purchase custom made arm and leg braces that allow her right arm to function on the racing trike. Without this specialized equipment, Shelley would have had to strap her paralyzed arm to her chest, forcing her to ride one-handed which does not provide the same amount of stability. “I couldn’t do what I do with out these custom braces,” said Shelley.
Competition alone is not enough for Shelley and she has gone on to create a not-for-profit organization that encourages people with disabilities to turn their passion into action. The Shelley Gautier Para-Sport Foundation loans para-cycling equipment, so people with disabilities can be more integrated into their communities. The foundation currently has contracts with the Niagara Region, Brantford, Whitby and Bromont, Québec, breaking down barriers for people living with disabilities, enabling them to participate in sports activities. “I just want to get butts in bikes and get people out enjoying recreational activities together,” she added.
OLG has supported the Quest for Gold Program since its inception in 2006, motivating dedicated athletes like Shelley to achieve their personal best by enabling travel and training for recipients and providing opportunities that might not otherwise exist. “I really want to thank OLG for everything they do for the Quest for Gold program! You don’t know how important it has been for me,” Shelley concluded.