Two-sport athlete’s tough choice leads to Team Canada spot

U25 women's wheelchair basketballer Corin Metzger works toward athletic and academic goals at UTSC

Sledge hockey or wheelchair basketball?

It was a choice Corin Metzger was faced with. Her main love was sledge hockey but she knew she had to make a decision as to which sport she was going to focus her time.

“In our minds she was a sledge hockey player, not a basketball player,” mom Sandy Metzger said. “How could she do both? How would she decide? We had so many questions.”

Metzger, who was four years old when she first picked up a basketball, chose hardwood over ice.

In 2011, the London, Ont., native decided to try out for Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s women’s national team.

“I didn’t go there thinking I was going to make the team and get to compete against world-class athletes,” Metzger said.

Today, the 21-year-old is a member of Team Canada’s U25 squad, is getting ready for this year’s World Championships, and is looking forward to the 2015 Parapan Am Games and beyond.

To prepare, Metzger and her 11 teammates are training at University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), where Metzger is working toward her undergraduate degree.

The school is home to Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s new year-round training academy, which launched Oct. 1.

More than just housing training facilities, UTSC will also be home to several 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games events. A new facility at Morningside Avenue and Military Trail is set to host aquatics, fencing and modern pentathlon.

“The new facility for Pan Am 2015 will be highly accessible,” said Heidi Calder, the special advisor on the Pan Am project at UTSC. “Everything has been thoroughly thought out and planned, from top to bottom.”

Metzger said that commitment to accessibility can be seen throughout the school as she heads to and from practice and class.

“This is probably the most accessible school I have been at,” Metzger said.

UTSC will continue to be her academic and athletic home as she chases even bigger dreams, she said.

“My ultimate goal is to make it to Rio 2016,” Metzger said. “And if that is what my goal is, then I have to really work hard to get there.”

When she tried out for the national team, mom Sandy and dad Keith Metzger had no idea she was going to end up where she is today.

“We are extremely proud of her as an athlete as well as the inspiring person that she is to others,” Sandy Metzger said. “She is an amazing young woman with big dreams and an even bigger heart.”