Nov. 2, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Schools across the province are being encouraged to participate in Paralympic School Week after Education Minister Roland Haché announced that he has endorsed the Pan-Canadian Paralympic School Week program. Paralympic School Week takes place Nov. 2 - 6.
"With Canada hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, we have a unique opportunity to not only highlight athletic excellence, but, here in New Brunswick, to celebrate inclusiveness in our schools," said Haché. "New Brunswick is a leader in inclusive education not only in Canada but around the world, and the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games are a worldwide example of what inclusion can be in all aspects of life."
This is the second year that Paralympic School Week has been held in Canada. Its goals include:
While schools are encouraged to hold events this week to celebrate with other schools across the country, activities are not limited to this specific week.
Different events are being held around the province, including an Initiation to Track and Field Day for students with exceptionalities, which is being organized by School District 2 in the Moncton area, and will take place on Nov 6. Students from across the district will be bused to the Athletic Building at the Université de Moncton for events that include guest speakers Earl Church, former national Paralympic coach, and Barry Patriquin, Paralympic medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics; videos of Paralympic events; and participation in some of these events. District 2 also plans to add Paralympic events during its annual Track and Field Championships held in June.
In addition, students from the Polyvalente Louis-Mailloux in Caraquet were visited by members of the Bathurst Bears wheelchair basketball team on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The team made a presentation to the school and invited students to play in a wheelchair basketball game against them. Students donated $306 to the Bathurst Bears toward the purchase of new, modified equipment for their team.
"The event will allow our students to meet role models, give them the opportunity to try the different events, and encourage them to see themselves as capable of competing in sport for fun and for personal satisfaction," said Peter Stuart, organizer and physical education teacher. "These types of initiatives are important to exceptional students, as it broadens their awareness of their capabilities."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Valerie Kilfoil, communications, Department of Education, 506-470-3178; Johanne Le Blanc, communications, Department of Education, 506-453-3085.