APRIL 26 – The Man with the Plan

Jeff May was in the eleventh grade when he first learned of wheelchair racing.  At the time he was using an electric scooter and casually working out in his school’s weight room. His friends on the track team playfully joked that he should equip his scooter with a bigger motor and enter the wheelchair 1500m. “Wait, there are wheelchair races in track?” queried Jeff. Empowered with this new found knowledge, he acquired a day chair and set his sights on the track. Jeff was the first person in Chatham-Kent to race the wheelchair 1500m, but he would certainly not be the last.


While a successful athlete in his own right, it is Jeff’s success off the track that has most profoundly impacted the sport. During his years racing, Jeff was perturbed by the lack of elite meets for para-athletes in our country. “I felt that had to change, and when my racing career was winding down my coach Dave Greig and I got to talking and Boiling Point was born,” he explains. Boiling Point Wheelchair Classic in Windsor has developed into a premier para-athletics meet attracting athletes from across our country as well as internationally.


Boiling Point is an all comers meet that welcomes para-athletes of all abilities and experience. Jeff impresses upon athletes to focus on the opportunity rather than the limitation. “Just get out there and do it! Don’t get caught up in the lack of fancy equipment or facilities, just get moving and figure it out as you go,” he says. Jeff recalls his start in the sport and stresses the importance of a welcoming coach: “I can only imagine how crushed I would have been if my high school coach said no or brushed me off when I approached him. You’re a coach, they are athletes, so coach them, make it work and figure it out together.”


This open and flexible approach has been Jeff’s greatest asset. When he first conceived of Boiling Point it was but a dream. Thankfully for the para-athletics community, Jeff had the gumption to make this dream a reality: “I didn’t discover that there were opportunities for someone like me until I was in grade 11. I wish I would have known at a younger age and hopefully I’ve shown younger children with disabilities what’s possible.” Anything.



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