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Coaches recognized at board meeting

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The Rainy River District School Board showed its appreciation for those who help out with school sports at last night’s meeting when they presented staff and community coaches with this month’s “Recognition of Excellence” award.

Teacher Jason Kabel and Adrian Chapman, coach of the Muskie senior boys’ volleyball team, were on hand to receive the honour, along with team captain Evan Woodland.

All three related to trustees their recent trip to the all-Ontario championships in St. Thomas.

“We had a rough time down there but we did make it there,” said Chapman. “We went from a team that didn’t believe in themselves to a team that could face any southern Ontario team.

“We became better people. Next year, hopefully, with a more experienced team, we can put them away,” he added.

Kabel noted that as a coach, winning and losing weren’t the only things he and other Muskie coaches stressed. “They showed a lot of class down there--just in how they acted as people,” he said.

Woodland echoed it was “heart” that made a team successful. “It was a good experience. The size and ability of the other team put us away but we did our best,” he remarked.

Also on hand was teacher Cynthia Donald, coach of the Robert Moore grade eight girls’ volleyball team, who related her commitment to the role.

“When I first came to Robert Moore, I was in a split kindergarten class but I knew I wanted to do some coaching with the older kids,” she began.

Since that time, some 10 years ago, Donald has gone on to coach grade seven/eight girls’ basketball, always welcoming a little help from others.

“Sometimes we would pull some of the senior players from the high school to help coach and they were always willing to help out,” she noted.

But Donald admitted the job isn’t always easy. “Sometimes we have to make cuts and it’s hard. But I really have promoted some to go to summer camp, and the next year, you can see them improving.

“I really hope to turn some of those girls on to sports [and] to keep them on all the way through school,” she added.

Education Director Warren Hoshizaki said he’s been impressed with the work that’s been put into--and the results that have come out of--school athletic programs here.

“There’s been a lot of success in the past year I’ve been here,” he remarked.

“Besides being beneficial in its own right, athletic activities really add to the academic part of the system,” he stressed. “Kids who participate in sports do better in classes.”

The board also indicated school athletes demonstrate positive lifestyle behaviours such as less smoking and less drug use. And it affords students who do not do well academically the chance to be successful in other aspects of school life.

The board reported participation in school activities results in students staying in school longer, being absent less frequently, achieving higher grades, and enjoying greater success in life after to school.

These programs are designed to meet a wide variety of students whose abilities and interests vary greatly. Extracurricular programs provide students with opportunities for enrichment, development of social skills, and practice in making decisions and handling responsibility.

Such activities also allow for the development of positive relationships between teachers and students, and among different groups of students.

More than 100 coaches, both staff and from the community, will receive a certificate to recognize and thank them for their involvement.

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