The message ‘I CAN’ has been strong in the Northwest School Division (NWSD) for 19 years and was celebrated in Dorintosh yesterday at the unique track event.
Jennifer Williamson, Superintendent of Student Services for NWSD was one of the organizers this year, along with staff from Dorintosh School. She said there was about 126 students from Pre-K to Grade 12 signed up, which was a high participation level this year. Youth came from Marsden, Turtleford, Marshall, Pierceland, as well as students from Makwa Sahgaiehcan and Thunderchild First Nations.
“It’s open to anyone,” Williamson said. “They are developed for all kids to succeed no matter what. The events are all fun-filled, and can be adapted to suit the needs of any individuals who decide to participate.”
Some of the different events include the water-gun target game, bubble-blowing, some traditional track events like ball toss, long jump and running. This year, a few new activities were added including a popular putting event.
This year, volunteers from Multiworks Corporation, Carpenter High School, and the community assisted. Older students had the option to be student leaders as well, which Williamson said was a positive addition in recent years.
Andrew Campbell, a Grade 10 student from the Dorintosh area, participated in the games for his entire school career. He’s an avid sports fan, and said his favourite game is the boot toss.
“It’s a really nice event to go to,” he said. “It’s a great way to make friends and one day of free school.”
Andrew’s mother Bluesette said she loves how inclusive, positive and interactive the day is for the students who attend. While Andrew has some physical limitations, she said she and her whole family appreciate the games and its intent.
“The I CAN Games approaches all events with many abilities in mind,” she said. “It’s not necessarily a competitive day, it’s more about everyone having fun. If the group wants to be competitive they can, but [they] can choose the colour ribbon they want, not necessarily corresponding with their place.”
“Everyone is celebrating what they deem to be the best day of their life,” Bluesette said. “You hear that over and over again. To be a part of that, is truly unforgettable.”
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