Written by Mitch Goldenberg, Photos by Marcia Love (Spruce Grove Examiner/Stony Plain Reporter)
École Broxton Park School took the baton last month in the Canadian Relay for Youth, a cross-country initiative to promote physical activity for children.
Each of the 800 students did their part by running at least 100 metres to conquer a combined 73 kilometres, surpassing their goal by 13 kilometres.
“Everybody was excited, it was something fun to do together,” said Bethany Saniga, a Grade 7 student and part of the school’s student health champions team. “It really brought our school together to try and hit a goal, and we got well past it.”
“It gave the student health champions a chance to show leadership,” principal Randy Hetherington said. “They got to plan it and implement it, it was a great highlight for them.”
The relay was one of the final events out of many during the school year aimed at promoting physical literacy for students.
“We’re really trying to promote keeping our kids’ body and minds fit, because it’s a win-win situation,” Hetherington said. “When they get out and get active, it helps them in the classroom.”
Caryn Foy, a teacher who helped plan the event, says the relay was particularly successful because it involved everyone at the school.
“It didn’t matter their ability, everyone could participate in it and we are always looking to promote mental, physical and nutritional wellness,” Foy said. “They loved it, it was great to see their competitiveness. Most of the time when they crossed the finish line, they asked ‘can we do this again?’ ”
As the message of the physical literacy campaign continues to resonate with increasing success, the school is hoping to make the event bigger for 2017.
“I learned that if you set a goal, you can achieve it if you bring everyone together,” Saniga said. “It took a lot of teamwork, and we ended up achieving our goal.”