Students at Eric Hamber Secondary showed their enthusiasm for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics by holding "Athletes of the Future" on Nov 5.
An estimated 1,800 students took part during the day-long event, including approximately 500 grade 6 and 7 students from neighbouring elementary schools. About 200 grade 11 and 12 Hamber youth leaders organized all aspects of the event including decorating the halls and auditorium with colourful Olympics-themed banners and posters, to create a festive atmosphere.
To start the event, the younger students participated in a torch relay around the school. They were greeted on their arrival by elite athletes and the Vancouver 2010 mascots. Once assembled in the school's large auditorium the students were treated to a beautiful rendition of O Canada by the Hamber Choir and upbeat performances by Hamber's student dancers.
In honour of Paralympic Schools Week, videos were shown about the Paralympics, while Brad Linnea (alpine skiing) and Patrick Anderson (wheelchair basketball) made inspiring speeches about their Olympic experiences. Linnea said one of his proudest moments was when he was invited to carry the torch in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. "I realized it was a special moment and I took the time to savour the moment when I accepted the flame," he said. Senator Nancy Green Raine, Canada's female athlete of the century, also made some brief remarks before meeting with the media at the school to announce the Paralympic torch relay route.
In the afternoon, all grade 8-12 Hamber students attended workshops facilitated by teachers, special guests and community partners. There were information booths for youth to learn about sports, recreation and leadership opportunities in the community.
Hands-on workshops included "Have a Go" Wheelchair curling, rugby and sledge hockey offered by the BC Wheelchair Sports Association; "Nutrition in Sport" offered by BC Dairy Foundation; "Recreation Leadership" offered by Action Schools BC! and "Sports Literacy" offered by Act Now BC.
Curriculum-related workshops included "The Science of Ski Jumping" and "Olympic Math Challenge." Students with an interest in critical thinking attended "The Olympic Debate," and "Politics in the Olympics." Each student completed three 40 minute workshops in order to complete their passport and win a prize.
Hamber leadership students are in the planning stages for two more ambitious events:
"Youth-to-Youth": Olympic-Themed Webcasts between Canadian Youth
In partnership with the BC Education Leadership Council (BCELC), a series of youth-to-youth webcasts will be organized up toFebruary 2010 that will twin Grade 11 and 12 classes from Eric Hamber Secondary with classrooms in other Canadian provinces and London, England. As part of the BCELC's "Student WebCast Section of Sharing the Dream," 12 classes (approximately 360 youth) will participate in this series of Olympic-themed webcasts.
"Hamber Olympic Fest": Live Coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games
To encourage youth involvement and experiential learning among youth, from February 12 through to February 28, a large screen and audio system will be set up in the auditorium at Eric Hamber Secondary to broadcast live coverage of the Games to youth. Classes of Grade 6 and 7 students from neighbouring elementary schools as well as classes of Grade 8-12 students from Hamber, will be given the opportunity to sign up for one-hour sessions in the auditorium.