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2011-01-13 at 17:14

Catholic board students get sporty benefit from partnership with LU

By Jodi Lundmark,
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More than 1,800 Thunder Bay students are getting lessons in sports and fitness from the coaches and varsity athletes of Lakehead University through a new partnership.

Partners in Sport has the university teaming up with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School board to give their junior students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 two two-hour sessions per year at the university in sports like soccer, volleyball, basketball, wrestling and track and field.
“We were looking for opportunities that we could really expand our healthy lifestyles education for our students and we really wanted to give them an opportunity to go to places that would inspire them and motivate them and expose them possibly to some new activities,” said Joan Powell, superintendent of education with the TBCDSB.

The board has been receiving more research about the impact physical activity has on children’s learning, Powell added.

“Not only are we ensuring our children get 20 minutes of daily vigorous physical activity and gym classes every week, we’re now looking for opportunities to take them outside their schools and do activities such as this program,” she said.

Grade 6 student Colin Farrow said he spent the afternoon playing one of his favourite sports – soccer – and learning a few new ones like volleyball, which he now adds to his list of favourites.

The St. Bernard School student said he was having fun learning from the LU coaches and athletes.

“It’s really exciting because we get to meet people we might grow up to be and it’s a really great workout,” he said.

Fellow Grade 6 student Beth O’Neill said she found the day interesting and fun.

“It’s really exciting and it’s a great opportunity to get to try out different sports instead of just playing soccer,” she said. “It’s also a pretty good workout like using all of your muscles…just having a different mindset than you would have just playing soccer.”

Lakehead’s director of athletics Tom Warden said physical activity is not only important, but it often overlooked when it comes to school’s educational agendas.

“I know they’re busy delivering the curriculum and sometimes it’s something that falls to the wayside,” he said. “So if we can assist with that very critical part of a child’s’ development, then we want to help do that.”

It’s also the responsibility of the university, as a community member, to help promote healthy lifestyles and to help the school board teach sports and athletics to youth, said Warden.

“In that way I think we can use our expertise to help them with their agenda,” he said, adding Partners in Sport also exposes to the students to the university and helps them  with recruitment.

“Once a young person comes into our facilities and sees it’s not intimidating, that it’s a welcoming place, I think the long-term thing is that they youth decides Lakehead University might be a destination for them.”


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bgal says:
My child participated in this event today and was full of stories when I picked him up from school! Wrestling, volleyball, basketball- the list went on. Great work, TBDCSB and LU- wonderful partnership with direct benefit for our kids- Thank you!
1/13/2011 10:42:18 PM
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