The Winkler Arena is now more accessible to wheelchair users.

"It's an amazing transformation," Rick Hansen Foundation Ambassador Jared Funk says.

He notes trying to watch a hockey game before the renovations wasn't ideal for someone in a wheelchair. Now Funk and others can view the game from eye level thanks to a new raised platform.


Rick Hansen Foundation's Barrier Buster program granted close to $30,000 to the arena accessibility upgrades


"I can actually look down at the game... it'll be a great improvement." he says.

The project is thanks, in part, to the Rick Hansen Foundation's Barrier Buster program.

The new wheelchair accessible emergency exits

The organization granted close to $30,000 to the arena project, which included a new front entrance, more accessible bathrooms and a platform for wheelchair users. Winkler Mayor Martin Harder explains the city provided an added $15,000 to finish the project ahead of Province's Accessibility Standard of Customer Service legislation.

"It's nice to do it voluntarily rather than being forced," Harder says. "When you recognize what the need is, and ensure the work gets done, it's very gratifying."


"I can actually look down at the game..." Jared Funk says. Along with working with the Rick Hansen Foundation, the Niverville resident is a veteran of the Paralympics and has competed in wheelchair rugby since 2001, earning Silver in Athens in 2004, Bronze in Beijing 2008, and Silver in London 2012.