Whitby’s ‘Unbalanced Paddleboarder’ to help launch CAF Sports Hall of Fame

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Published October 20, 2022 at 8:50 am

The Unbalanced Paddleboarder, fresh off his epic conquering of all five great lakes this summer – the first person with a disability to do so – and in the midst of his ‘world tour,’ is the keynote speaker this morning at the launch of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Hall of Fame in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

Mike Shoreman is a former professional paddleboarder and instructor who was diagnosed with Ramsey-Hunt Syndrome in 2018, a condition that caused paralysis on one side of his face and led to hearing and speech impediments as well as fatigue and vertigo. The Whitby resident had to learn how to walk again as well as conquer mental health issues and though doctors warned him he would never paddleboard again he fought his way back to fitness, setting him and his team up for this summer’s adventures on the Great Lakes in support of mental health.

Already an author: Crash and Rise – from victim to thriving survivor; the Diaries of the Unbalanced Paddleboarder, Shoreman has been on a speaking tour since he completed his lake crossings in August. The tour has taken him to Nova Scotia, where he will participate in the annual Sports Day and help open the CAF Sports Hall of Fame “for the men and woman of service across Canada who have brought honour to the CAF in sport.”

Shoreman said he was brought in to speak by the military’s disability and inclusion unit. “I’ll be talking about mental health, disabilities and inclusion and the importance and value of having a strong team to execute a mission.”

The Canadian Armed Forces Hall of Fame, located at the Fitness and Sports Centre at the Greenwood military base, will include displays that honour armed forces athletes and allow people to look up members by name, sport, category and year inducted.

There will also be a virtual Hall of Fame at each military base in Canada.

“The CAF Hall of Fame is the highest honour that may be granted to members by the CAF Sport Program,” the Hall declared in a release. “It recognizes inductees for distinguishing themselves and bringing honour to the CAF through their contributions to sport.”

The CAF Sports Hall of Fame includes the 1942 Grey Cup champion Toronto Air Force Hurricanes; Captain Lynne Bermel, the armed forces national running champion from 1983-90 who competed in cross-country and triathlon; and the husband and wife team of Master Warrant Officer Doug Burdett and Warrant Officer Margaret Burdett, four time world champions in skeet shooting.

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