AASRA's history is rich.
Our founders recognized the importance of sports and recreation activities in the amputee community. Our original mission statement in 1977 read: "To bind together in a spirit of a fraternity, all persons who are without a limb (s), or part thereof, from any cause."
Specifically, those founding members outlined certain core objectives that included:
providing for the recreation of members
affording members the opportunity for friendly and social activities
encouraging and promoting amateur games and exercises
providing a meeting place
carrying on discussions of general interest to amputees
establishing a reading library
Today, we uphold these core objectives as we continue to connect with those amputees struggling with recent amputation or those who are looking for a new challenge. We have a support program for new amputees. We have a peer support program visiting new amputees in hospitals or rehabilitation programs. And we provide financial support for amputees competing at all levels of sport and recreation.
If you know of an amputee who is not already a member of our Association, why not speak to them and encourage them to join us? Their input, their ideas, their goals and their support is very welcome. They may not feel that they need support, but maybe they can BE support for someone else!
In Memory of
October 23, 1941 - November 20, 2020
It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Gwendalyn Jean Davies
on November 30, 2020. Gwen was a long-time active member of AASRA,
serving as the association’s Secretary, President and Executive Director.
Gwen grew up in Faulconbridge, New South Whales, Australia. In 1965 she met her husband-to-be Canadian Malcom Davies and after marrying in 1968 they moved to Canada. Gwen worked for Gelmon Corporation in Canada and supported her husband’s manufacturing company while raising their family in the ‘70s. Gwen will best be remembered by her many friends for her volunteer work and her athletic career.
Gwen was very active in disabled sports, both as an athlete and as an organizer. She became a member of AASRA in 1989 and moved successively into the positions of Secretary, President, and Executive Director. She was a charter member of the Canadian Amputee Golf Association (CAGA) in the early ‘90s and performed the role of President until 2017. Gwen also served on the World Advisory Committee who advocated for golf to be admitted into the Paralympics for 2016. Although unsuccessful at that time, the work she initiated as well as her overall contribution to the Paralympic Movement resulted in approval for that sports inclusion within the last several years. She was also heavily involved in Skate Canada, holding many volunteer positions at the local, provincial and national levels from 1979 to 2006.
Gwen supported and participated in numerous sports throughout her lifetime including figure skating, downhill skiing, and golf. However, it would be golf that would become her passion and sport of choice. She won the Canadian Amputee Women’s Golf Championship 18 times! She also won the British Open Amputee Golf Championship in 1995 and was the World Series of Golf Ladies Champion in 2002. She was either in charge of or directly involved in many national and provincial golf tournaments throughout her 25-year career. The direction and support she graciously and generously provided was greatly appreciated by many, not the least of which were the young amputee golfers who at one point affectionately nicknamed her “Mother Gwen”.
In recognition of all the outstanding work she did to raise the profile of disabled sport in Alberta and Canada, Gwen Davies was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 as an Athlete/Builder.
Gwen will be sorely missed by all those who were lucky enough to know her. Her tireless contributions to the golf, amputee, and overall sports communities, cannot be overstated. However, it was her warm, open personality and ability to connect with people at a meaningful, personal level that will be unforgettable. She became an instant friend to anyone she met. Gwen will be dearly missed by all of us.