Sports helping keep kids in school, engaged

January 27, 2016

Educators are using sports to encourage attendance and engagement at school in First Nations communities and are having positive results. A recently renewed partnership between Lakehead University and Wasaya Airways called “Reach Up!” brings coaches and student athletes to First Nations communities in northern Ontario to run sports clinics and act as role models to local youth. The program encourages youth to be active and stay in school and provides Lakehead’s student athletes with opportunities to gain leadership and coaching skills and to learn more about First Nations culture. Similarly, a program called Ski Fit North Alberta led by former Olympian Beckie Scott is bringing cross-country ski training to Aboriginal schools across Alberta. Developed by Cross Country Canada and Cross Country Alberta, the program focuses on physical literacy and mental wellness in a supportive environment. A program created by the Keewatin-Patricia School Board in northwestern Ontario is using hockey to boost student attendance. The board incorporated hockey into its phys-ed curriculum in 2012 with support from Hockey Canada and Jumpstart. Students do not have to pay to participate in the program, but they must attend school and do their schoolwork. Lakehead | CBC (Ski Fit) | CBC (Hockey)