Julian Baird

Peer Perspective Writer

Julian BairdI was born with spina bifida & hydrocephalus on July 4th, 1990 in Smithville, ON. As the youngest of 5, growing up in an isolated country house with a ton of stairs gave me little choice but to sink or swim. Both figuratively and literally, I chose to swim. At age 13, I joined Golden Horseshoe Disabled Sports Association's competitive swim team in Burlington, ON. Weeks later, I was introduced to another sport offered by GHDSA: wheelchair basketball. I competed in both sports throughout high school, participating in training camps across North America, and winning the 2009 OFSAA gold medal in 50-meter backstroke for my high school's Cardinals.

After graduating from high school, I pursued my passion for adaptive sport, becoming the first wheelchair-user to enrol in Mohawk College's Health, Wellness and Fitness Co-op program. During my co-op, I had incredible opportunities to work as a personal and group fitness trainer at McMaster University's MacWheelers Exercise Program for Adults with Spinal Cord Injury, and as a multi-sport coach for youth of all abilities in McMaster University's Sport Fitness School summer camp. Both of these experiences have reinforced my desire to make the mainstream fitness world inclusive to all. As a Get in Motion physical activity counselor, I support all efforts of people with disabilities to work effectively toward lifelong progress because I believe that we can achieve far more than we ever thought possible when we work as a team.