When the friends and families of Canadian Paralympic athletes want to get to the Paralympics in Rio next year, we’ll be helping them to do that. By collaborating with Celebration Club, an organization dedicated to bringing the families, partners, and friends of athletes to every Paralympic event, we are creating dream itineraries that will handle every aspect of these exciting trips.
“It is super exciting,” says Duane Penner, Roadtrips’ VP of Sales, “It’s always really rewarding to build sports travel experiences for people, but as a Canadian, to be able to do that for friends and family of the athletes at both the Summer Games and Paralympics in Rio, it is really cool. You almost feel like you’re part of the Canadian Team.”
Having friends and family attend these events is so important. “Of course the friends and family want to be there to support their athletes, and spur them onwards, but the athletes and National Sports Organizations (NSOs) can’t be the ones to organize that and secure tickets etc. for them,” says Penner. “We take that on, and provide that desired and necessary service to these groups, allowing mum and dad, siblings, and friends, to be there. We take the anxiety out of it.”
And what exactly does this mean? “We handle everything. We pick people up at the airport, we have their flights and hotels, we’re working with the Paralympic Committee on creating Para Canada House as a place where athletes and families can mix,” says Penner, “It is super cool.” The only thing that makes it different from regular Roadtrips experiences is that we aren’t handling the tickets, Celebration Club is doing that side of things.
We have customized experiences built on what each of the NSOs wanted. Some want receptions, or special excursions built in, and we’ve created those. It is the first time that Roadtrips has partnered with Celebration Club in this way, and we are thrilled to be included in this process.
“It is also our first time having so much involvement in the Paralympic side of the Games, and you hear so many inspiring stories from these athletes who have overcome such adversity to compete at this level. Parents of all athletes make sacrifices to get their children to compete internationally, but often with the Paralympic athletes there is more heavy lifting to get them there, and it is cool to be part of the team supporting those parents to see them compete,” says Penner.
As a Canadian company, this really brings out the red and white pride in the Roadtrips team. “It is really exciting for all of us,” says Penner.