As an athlete all my life, I know and appreciate what sports and especially running has done to assist me to becoming the person I’ve become today. I’ve gained confidence, learned team skills, setting goals, learned social skills and met some amazing people who have given me the opportunity to reach my goals and aspirations. Through becoming the President, it gives me a chance to give back to the community that has given me so much!
Shelley Ann Morris
Communications and Reine de Joie de Vivre
Shelley Ann Morris never considered herself a 'runner' until 2008 after being inspired by her family. Her younger sister Colleen guided Shelley in her first 5K run. Like Colleen, Shelley's father ran marathon and half-marathon distances, and now with the help and encouragement of sighted guides, she could now follow in their footsteps. Shelley was born with low vision, and credits her many guides and fellow athletes for their support. Shelley started running at age 48, and knows that it plays an important part in her healthy lifestyle. She has run several 5, 10, and half-marathon distances, and hopes that through Achilles, others will be encouraged to take up the challenge. Whether it's a walk, walk-run or training for a longer distance, all are welcome.
Running has been a part of my entire life. I ran to catch up with siblings and then ran races in school; the Etobicoke Huskies introduced me to training, and their team spirit and accomplishments inspired me to run the "Brooks Spring Runoff" in 1983. I met lifelong friends through running and continue going to running events with my own family too. I run now because it feels great and perhaps, hopefully, getting my blood flowing helps my brain function better. A run in the afternoon is a better pick-me-up than coffee! (but I sure like my coffee too). My goal is to be the oldest person running the 10K at Ottawa Race Weekend, so I welcome you to join me and keep me and all the Achilles team healthy for the long and happy journey ahead.
I discovered my passion for running in 2006 when I completed my first marathon and I have never looked back. After years of training and running for personal goals, I sought a way to support others to do the same to reach their goals. My involvement with Achilles Ottawa has introduced me to a community of athletes and guides who are passionate about running and being active in an environment of mutual support and camaraderie.
I have proudly represented Canada at 5 Paralympic Games in middle distance track, most recently in Rio in 2016. While running is in many ways an individual activity, it is the dedication of the guides who have worked with me over the years which has truly helped me to pursue it as a team sport. Before moving from Northern Ireland to Canada in the early 1990’s, I grew up with two brothers who were also blind. While it may often be difficult for parents of children with disabilities to let their kids participate in sports for fear of injury, my parents as well as teachers encouraged us to try a variety of sports, which instilled a love for physical activity that has been a defining part of my life. I hope to run forever and to encourage people of all abilities to realize the transformational benefits of sport and physical activity