Hedges first visited Dr. Kerney Elementary School, and then made his way to Ecole Central, holding an assembly at each school to discuss his life.

In a gymnasium packed full of young students, Hedges talked about his childhood growing up in the region, his accident at age 13, his introduction into wheelchair basketball, and his journies through various Paralympic Games, culminating with a gold medal victory in London this summer.

Also speaking to the children was Chair of the Mayor’s Disability Advisory Committee Lori Slater, who talked about the importance of following your dreams and staying motivated in life, telling the children to continuously “challenge yourself, your abilities and your boundaries and see where it takes you.”

Following a few more words, and a question and answer period with the children, Hedges strapped himself into his competitive wheelchair basketball chair and put on a little demonstration, complete with shooting, dribbling and manoeuvring in his athletically designed chair.

The assembly ended with the kids getting a first hand look at Hedges’ gold medal from the London Games.

Broyden Bennett, Vice Principal at Ecole Central said Hedges’ message is a great one for his students.

“You can’t describe in words how inspirational it can be for these kids and for them to see that dreams can come true, overcoming obstacles and being able to always stay positive.”

Bennett added that showing his students that anything is achievable is something very valuable to learn at a young age.

“[Hedges’] inspirational story shows that it doesn’t matter what life throws at you, as long as you have a positive attitude and set your goal, you can achieve them.”