Thunderbird Elementary students share what Terry Fox means to them
Terry Fox continues to be an example of courage, humility, determination and perseverance — especially for young Canadians. Each year, schools across the District participate in the annual Terry Fox Run to raise awareness for cancer research and to celebrate Terry’s legacy.
Today, students at Thunderbird Elementary are running a 1.5-kilometre loop around their school neighbourhood. Their physical education teacher, Ken Costea says he is getting the students “pumped up” for the run. With staff and families cheering on the sidelines, Costea shares that most of the intermediate students in Grades 6 and 7 will run the loop 10 times, which is over 10 kilometers. “Physical activity is so good for brain development and has such a big impact on students and their learning,” says Costea.
What inspired this determination was a special visit from Terry’s brother Fred Fox in early September. Fox shared special stories with students at Thunderbird about growing up with Terry, including one about building a giant pyramid of blocks.
“Fred told us this story about when he and Terry were only kids building this pyramid,” Costea explains. “Time and time again the blocks would fall to the floor, but Fred said every time they fell, he and Terry never gave up until they finished building the pyramid.”
The Terry Fox Foundation named this year’s theme: “I am not a quitter”, and Costea says the story that Fred shared was an inspiring message for students and staff at Thunderbird – and one that resonates as they start their run today.
This year’s Terry Fox theme aligns especially well with World Mental Health Day coming up on October 10, as a powerful message that encourages students and staff to never give up, even when times are tough. According to Costea, while perseverance is important, it’s also important to him that his students speak up if they need support.
“Mental health is really important to talk about,” says Costea. “If something is bothering you, don’t hide it or try and deal with it on your own. It’s important to reach out for help,” Costea explains.
In preparation for today’s run, students at Thunderbird Elementary shared why they think Terry Fox is an inspiration and what they do to stay active and happy.
To learn more about Terry Fox, his legacy and how your school can get involved, visit: terryfoxschoolrun.org