Written by: Sarah Smith, SportWORKS Officer, S4N Edmonton
The month of July was an incredibly busy one for the Sport for Newcomers Edmonton Initiative. Busy enough that the final blog post has taken us into week two of August to complete! But, never fear, the blog post is here.
Over the past month we hosted 3 track and field camps during our local high school spring programming. Our track and field camps were organized and delivered in partnership with the Edmonton Track and Field Council (ETFC). ETFC helped us out last summer with some summer track programming, however, this year we greatly expanded the collaboration to include two practice sessions for the students where they learned the basics of different track & field events such as: long jump, triple jump, 100 meter, relay, shot put, and javelin.
For their final session we bussed each school to the Rollie Miles Track in Edmonton where they got the chance to compete these events against other newcomer classes. ETFC had coaches from clubs across the city come out to help support the students. As a result, the students were able to connect with coaches from clubs that they could sign up for if they were interested. We also had some of these coaches scouting athletes who had not had a chance to/had never considered competing in track before. In addition to our students learning about these track events, we also had them learn about leadership in sport, nutrition, wellness, and mentorship. Each student helped to lead an event or support an initiative such as the snacks for the competition day. Through these events we had over 100 newcomer students participate in track & field programming. Student also got to connect with other newcomer students who were participating on the day with them from other schools around Edmonton.
The other event that we hosted was a canoe/kayak family day that was run in partnership with the Greater Edmonton Racing Canoe Kayak Club (GERCKC).
The GERCKC runs their programming out of a lake just north of St. Albert. We had over 40 people sign up for the day, however, we had to cancel the first date due to bad weather at the beginning of July. We rescheduled for the end of July and crossed as many fingers and toes that we could. Thankfully, we had beautiful weather and we had 24 people still show up to learn how to canoe/kayak.
From elders in the family, to young kids; everyone had the chance to learn about water safety, how to operate canoes and kayaks, and to get on the water. After the event, some families expressed their gratitude to try an activity that they had always wanted a chance to do – especially considering the “Canadian” nature of the event. For others, they discussed how they had canoed or kayaked in their home countries, but had not had the chance to teach their children or grandchildren since moving to Canada. We finished the day with pizza and conversation between our various newcomer families.
As discussed in previous posts, our programming is unable to exist without the partners that we had over these past 3 months. Everyone from Edmonton Ballet, Edmonton Ultimate Players Association, Edmonton Oilers Alumni Association, and the two aforementioned Edmonton Track & Field Council as well as Greater Edmonton Racing Canoe Kayak Club. Using the support of the Sport for Newcomers Initiative we also got to expose our youth to the Edmonton River Valley Programs. We are excited to see where these partnerships will lead us and our newcomer youth in the future.
Thanks for following along over these past few months and I hope you get to hear from Edmonton again!