Tanelle Bolt is the first to say she had everything going for her. Four years ago the athletic blonde bartender and business woman was in such good shape that she was preparing to enter fitness competitions.
Then she and her friends headed out in search of an adventure. They stood on the edge of a bridge near Port Renfrew and prepared to jump. The 60-foot drop looked scarier than it was: no one had been injured jumping there in 40 years.
Ms. Bolt leapt. Of course she did. Nothing had ever stopped her from being as sporty as she pleased.
But the water wasn’t on her side that day. She landed on something she hadn’t seen from above, a floating object that was never identified.
Although she rolls through her new life in a chair with a spinal-cord injury, Ms. Bolt never stops looking for adventure and refuses to be contained. She’s still an athlete, still an entrepreneur and still so firey that she’ll stare down anyone who dares to tell her that she’s too pretty to be in chair.
She didn’t want to give up her active, independent life because of her injury and knew all too well the sports, activities and fun that were closed to her.
“Seeing all the places that people can’t go and knowing what they’re missing on the other side,” motivated her to start RAD, the Recreation Adapted Society. She wanted to give those with mobility issues the opportunity to explore, to be active and to lead independent lives.
RAD rents specialized outdoor recreation equipment to those with mobility issues so they can enjoy the activities they love and find new ones that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them.
“It’s nice to just get to help people all of the time,” she said.
Ms. Bolt is particularly enthusiastic about RAD’s stand-up sports wheelchair.
“People can stand in it who otherwise can’t,” she said.
The $35,000 specialty chair allows those who are paralyzed and those without legs to stand to swing a golf club, shoot an arrow or rise to hug a dear friend.
Ugly Pant Classic golf tournament
The stand-up wheelchair will be on display at the second annual Ugly Pant Classic golf tournament, which is a fundraiser for RAD.
The 13-hole tournament (yes, 13 holes) will take place on Saturday, October 13th. The cost is $70 per golfer, which includes dinner, silent and live auctions and a performance by the Small Town Dirtbags. Guests will also have the opportunity to check out RAD’s adaptive equipment that allows anyone “to be included in outdoor activities.”
To register, visit radsociety.ca or call the Copper Point Pro Shop at 250-341-3392.
“We’ve got some killer ugly pants coming this year,” Ms. Bolt said.
There will be a free shuttle from the golf tournament to the casino night at Ullr Bar for anyone interested in attending both fundraising events.