Achilles Ottawa is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors. Here’s who we are:
Jason Dunkerley, President:
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.
Christian Kolking, Guide Liaison:
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.
Margarita Gorbounova, Membership Secretary, Communications/Membership :
I ran my first official running race at the age of 8, and have been involved in sports ever since. My athletic parents, who are also both visually impaired, introduced me to sports at a young age, and I have always believed that it has made all the difference for me. Sports, and running in particular, has taught me to be independent, to believe in myself and to use the vision that I have to its fullest potential. This is exactly what we try to achieve at Achilles Ottawa, and that’s why I am part of this team.
Mikhail Gorbounova, Treasurer: