One of the 1,300-plus volunteers participating in this year’s Défi sportif AlterGo’s has come all the way from Trinidad-and-Tobago to give a helping hand, but also to draw ideas for a like-minded event in her part of the world.

This year again, Francine Look-Hong is a line judge for the Défi sportif AlterGo’s boccia competitions. She is taking on the same role she had in 2018, but also carrying on with observations she first made with a colleague last year.

“As we strive to move ahead with disability sport development in the Caribbean, we are constantly searching for opportunities to grow and network, in order to bring opportunities to our developing athletes”, she explains.

The “Défi”’s touch

During her first stint of volunteering in Canada, Francine was amazed by how smooth the “Défi” was running given its size. She also noticed how the event stands out by allowing elite and up-and-coming athletes to come into contact.

“The beginners can gain significant inspiration from being among the intermediate and advanced athletes. Similarly, the professional athletes can gain inspiration to perform at their best not only for their glory but also as an example to those seeking reasons to continue striving and reaching for their goals”, she says.

Francine Look-Hong is seen smiling on April 2018 during the 35th Défi sportif AlterGo's boccia competitions in Montreal's Maurice-Richard arena. (Photo : Patrick Beauchemin/Défi sportif AlterGo)

Francine Look-Hong is seen on April 2018 during the 35th Défi sportif AlterGo’s boccia competitions in Montreal’s Maurice-Richard arena. (Photo : Patrick Beauchemin/Défi sportif AlterGo)

The “Défi”’s touch

In Trinidad-and-Tobago, Francine is a director for PlayAble Caribbean, a non-profit dedicated to the development of athletes with diverse abilities. She also coaches tennis as well as wheelchair tennis.

She wishes to offer everyone the opportunity to find a Paralympic sport, but locally and at a low or no-cost. Francine dreams of an event that would include athletics, swimming and boccia. “Just getting it started would represent a great measure of success”, she says, while proudly mentioning that a mini-marathon was held last February.

Francine is also working to develop women’s and girls’ cerebral palsy football. She is chair for CP Women’s football, a committee of people working together to develop the sport worldwide, by bringing the sport to the Caribbean.

The Défi sportif AlterGo wishes great success to Francine in her endeavours and hopes that others draw from the event to promote adapted sports in the world.