The virtual Connection 2021 event is due to be held on June 5 and 6 ©CPC

The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is set to hold a two-day virtual event aimed at attracting more female Para athletes.

Scheduled to take place on June 5 and 6, "Connection 2021" is expected to comprise of various sessions, interactive workshops and engagement opportunities.

The CPC say the free event is a an "adapted form" of its Paralympian Search series which aims to find new talent and is welcoming women of all backgrounds to apply to participate.

"We know there are fewer women accessing Para sport in Canada, not only at the highest Paralympic level but also at the community and recreational levels," said Karen O’Neill, chief executive of the CPC.

"This virtual event is just one innovative way by which we hope to encourage more women with a disability to participate in sport, and learn how we can create better environments within our sport system for female athletes.

"Our goal on June 5 and 6 is to offer safe, welcoming, and inclusive sessions as well as resources going forward so each participant has a positive experience and feels empowered to engage in sport and stay in sport."

Typically a one-day event held in person, Paralympian Search has been hosted in various cities over the past few years, including Toronto, Montreal, Victoria, Calgary, Ottawa and Gatineau, Halifax, and Kelowna.

Para nordic skier Colette Bourgonje is expected to share her own experience to Connection 2021 participants ©Getty Images
Para nordic skier Colette Bourgonje is expected to share her own experience to Connection 2021 participants ©Getty Images

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Connection 2021 will be held virtually which the CPC hopes will allow women from across Canada to connect.

The CPC said it was working with a number of female researchers and experts in the disability and sport spheres to help shape the event’s format.

Participants are expected to learn about a variety of Para sports courtesy of presentations by Athletics Canada, Cycling Canada, Canoe Kayak Canada, Nordiq Canada, Alpine Canada, Canada Snowboard, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, Canadian Sport Institute Calgary, and Institut national du sport du Québec.

Canadian Para athletes including Colette Bourgonje, Karolina Wisniewska, Jennifer Brown, Marissa Papaconstantinou, Andrea Nelson and Sandrine Hamel are set to share their own experiences.

"Paralympian Search was such a positive experience for me and set me on this incredible path in Paralympic sport, so I am really excited for the opportunity to help introduce more women to sport," said Nelson.

"I think this is a really important initiative to show what opportunities are out there and the many ways that sport can be a part of people’s lives. I hope sharing my own story will help all of the women at the event feel confident and comfortable to start their own unique journey in Para sport."