Big changes coming for school sports

  • Apr. 26, 2013 1:00 p.m.

Big changes are coming next year for elementary school sports, trustees and members of the public heard at last week’s school board meeting, held April 23 in Queen Charlotte. Superintendent Angus Wilson said several significant issues triggered the changes, including severe enrollment decline in the district over the past 20 years. Port Clements and A.L. Mathers schools have so few students that it has become virtually impossible for them to field full teams for district playdays and tournaments, he said. Traditionally, the elementary schools have competed in sports like indoor soccer, volleyball, basketball, badminton and track and field throughout the year, getting together for a playday and a tournament for each sport, and with the winning school taking home a banner proclaiming its victory. Mr. Wilson said the sports committee recently experimented with a different approach, bringing the four schools together for a fun day of floor hockey. The students were randomly divided into teams named after colours, with students from the various schools all mixed together. “By all accounts, it was a very successful day,” he said. “Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.” The committee would like to try out this new approach to school sports for the coming year, he said. Trustees were enthusiastic, with Old Massett representative Warren Wesley saying he had already heard good things from parents. “I also really support this, I think it’s really good,” said Masset trustee Sharon Matthews. “It takes away that ‘us and them’ attitude, I really support that.” Chair Elizabeth Condrotte said she believed the new model will help build a strong, island-wide Haida Gwaii community, as it would no longer pit one community against another. Students, parents and communities will all feel the positive effects, she predicted.