From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to all those involved in making a return to sport possible.
As we are now into the flow of this 2021-22 school year, and school athletics is returning to our fields and courts, we are reminded of the exciting highs and heartbreaking lows that sport can deliver. With those lows, comes an opportunity to overcome obstacles, rebound to victory and use these experiences as motivators to overcome the next challenges we’ll face in sport, or in life.
There is no question that this pandemic has delivered our biggest obstacle. We continue to work together to provide lost opportunities to our youth who are returning to the field of play, or maybe stepping into athletics for the first time. You have provided an avenue for our student-athletes to connect with their peers, enjoy a jolt of physical and mental health and begin to return to some sense of normalcy.
Our youth aren’t the only ones who sacrificed. All last year teachers struggled to reach students through a computer screen, and experienced difficulties connecting with students in the classroom. There is a great deal of appreciation for what teachers went through last school year, and how hard you’ll work this school year to provide a positive educational experience to your students and student-athletes. Prior to this pandemic which halted all of our leagues, tournaments and festivals, the very giving and talented volunteer teacher-coaches we have in our association helped our student-athletes develop, grow and understand not only a game, but shared lessons that they could carry with them through life. We know and recognize this will be more important then ever. Thank you for everything you are doing.
To the parents and caregivers of our student-athletes, we are grateful for your patience over the last 18 months. We know it wasn’t easy. We thank you for all you did to support your child and encouraging their participation in interschool-sport, as we hope it will provide them more opportunity to develop physically, mentally and emotionally.
The extent to which school athletic directors, convenors, administrators and officials have gone, to understand and implement mandated COVID safety protocols, has been nothing short of extraordinary. We thank you for your passion, leadership and expertise in sport. Your positive solutions based approach to get athletics running in our schools is the reason this is all possible.
The fruits of your labour will truly present themselves when we see our student-athletes in the field of play. We thank our student-athletes for all your hard work on the field as well as in the classroom. It will be great to see you strengthen bonds with existing teammates and make new friends along the way. We hope you are able to learn, grow and develop in your sport and most importantly, have fun!
We all love to have more points on the board at the end of the game, or hope to be the fastest one in the race, but as we enter a new season of inter-school sport we encourage you to let the values of inclusion, participation, teambuilding, equality, education and fun be at the forefront.
Thank you all for playing a major role in providing an opportunity for social connection when it is more important then ever.
We are wishing you all success, health and happiness.
-Loretta Notten, Director of Education (WCDSB)
-Gerald Foran, Superintendent of Learning (WCDSB)
-Jennifer Tyszka, President (District 8)
-Derrick Stryker, Athletic Coordinator