In Memory of Barbara Montemurro

Photo of Barbara Montemurro

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Barbara “Barb” Montemurro, a passionate advocate who has been instrumental in developing our organization and the para sports community in Ontario and beyond. Barbara passed away on January 11, 2021.

Barbara dedicated over 40 years of her life to advocating for para sports, doing whatever it took to ensure that people with disabilities had the opportunity to participate in sport and recreation. In 1974, she joined the Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association (OWSA) and dedicated her work to the development of the organization through various roles including Secretary, Senior Athletics Director, Sport Technical Officer and President.

Not only an administrator, Barb officiated wheelchair rugby at local, regional, provincial and national levels, and established herself as a leader in para sport by sitting on numerous boards and committees, including the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Organization, Paralympics Ontario, and the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation. She was also a team manager for Team Ontario at Wheelchair Rugby Championships, Canadian Junior Team at US National Championships, Team Canada at the Paralympics in Barcelona, to name a few.

Barbara was a founding board member of the Sport Alliance of Ontario and the Provincial Sports Organizations Council (later known as Sport 4 Ontario), and volunteered for the Georgetown Accessibility Committee. She has been honored with many awards, including the CWSA Dr. Robert Jackson Award in 1999, induction into the OWSA Hall of Fame in 2008, and induction into the CWSA Hall of Fame in the Builder Category in 2017.

Barb met every challenge she faced head-on and kept giving. She was a mentor to many, and will be remembered for her leadership, kindness, and sincerity. Barb has left an incredible legacy and will be missed, but fondly remembered by athletes, coaches, volunteers and others in the para sport community.

We are grateful for her passion, dedication and endless support, and our deepest condolences go out to Barb’s family and friends during this difficult time.

At her request, there will not be a funeral, instead a Celebration of Life will be held at a future date. Barbara’s obituary can be found at