Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame encourages young athletes to get out and play. CBC Sports

You can tell that Lois Mitchell cares a lot about the Canadian sports ecosystem because she is also sympathetic to the referees.

“Don’t laugh at me, I care about the referee. I do,” said Mitchell. “Why can’t we respect them and encourage them?”

Michelle, 83, comes from a family immersed in sports. A former physical education teacher, Mitchell coached in various sports and is now on the board of Football Canada.

Her husband, Doug Mitchell, who died in July, was a former CFL player who served as commissioner for four years in the 1980s. His son, Scott Mitchell, co-founded the Canadian Premier Soccer League.

And so it should come as no surprise that when Olympic silver medalist and Canadian Sports Hall of Fame President Cheryl Barnard approached Michelle to support Beyond the Win, an education program promoting youth sports, So Michelle didn’t hesitate.

Mitchell said, “It’s important to encourage young people to really develop the skills they develop as an athlete. It’s about fitness, it’s about teamwork and I think It’s leadership skills that will last him a lifetime.”

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wickenheiser gets the call

Michele announced her support for the Education Endowment campaign last week, which Bernard says has raised nearly $2 million in support of Beyond the Win. Its ultimate goal is to raise $8 million.

The 2022 induction ceremony of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame will take place on Thursday, with Adam Van Couverden, Brian Williams, Dwayne de Rosario, Edward Lenny, Hayley Wickenheiser, John Tavares, Tim McIsaacs, Tricia Smith, Chatham Colored All-Stars and Preston Rivets Are included. All calls are being received.

Beyond the Win provides digital lessons from Hall of Famers to schools across the country. One such example involves Willie O’Ree talking about facing racism in hockey.

Barnard said, “Teachers can go in and go, ‘Okay, this aligns with the curriculum in Alberta’ and now there are activities that follow that, questions for students and kids to learn about racism. Can and how Willie overcame it.”

Mitchell said Wickenheiser, who works two full-time jobs as a doctor and assistant general manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs, is a shining example of teaching the game of adaptability.

“I think adaptability in life is the most important skill or behavioral trait that anyone can have because it means, you know what, you accept failure. Hey, that didn’t work out but guesswork.” Put it on, I’m gonna try it and that’s really what life is about,” Michelle said.

At the start of the pandemic, Wickenheiser collaborated with Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds on a campaign to “conquer COVID-19”.

“That’s what she does, she exemplifies the strong values ​​of giving back,” Mitchell said. “It doesn’t matter to her, it’s all about whether she’s capable of doing something and making a difference. And since I’ve known her, she’s always been like that.”

Wickenheiser promotes a donation campaign for personal protective equipment in April 2020. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press)

Bernard notes that examples like Wickenheiser are important to girls who have either not considered joining a team or are on the verge of dropping out.

He cited a “shocking” statistic that 70 percent of girls quit the sport by the age of 17.

“If you can educate on the value of sport and it’s not being an Olympian, it’s not a world champion, it’s just on the values ​​learned through playing recreational sports or team sports in school, then I think people stay Will be committed to for a long time,” Bernard said.

The key to role models for girls in sports

Bernard, an accomplished pro curler, said she considered dropping out of the sport entirely in high school, when the allure of a larger social life prompted her to give up odd-hours practices.

It was a combination of her proactive parents, who also curled up, and a friend’s advice convinced her to move on.

“She said I’ll give my right hand that you have the opportunity to play sports and grow up that way. She said never leave it for parties or anything else, and I never did.”

Studies show that 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs played organized sports beyond high school, and 96 percent of high school dropouts did not play organized sports, according to a press release announcing their support for Mitchell. .

Le May Don, center, is the CEO of Sport Calgary. (The Canadian Press/Larry McDougall/File)

Olympic speed skater Catriona Le May Don now serves as CEO of Sport Calgary. Nancy Knowlton, who starred on Bishop’s basketball team, founded the company Smart Technologies.

“I see a lot of women out there who played sports and then transitioned into CEO roles or high-level roles. I believe the confidence the sport gave them gave them the ability to believe that they could do what was to come,” Bernard said.

The Beyond the Win program will also focus on safe play, which has come to greater attention among other national sports organizations facing the Hockey Canada scandal and allegations of abuse.

“I know it’s our No. 1 priority with football, I know that. And I think more and more we’re going to see more and more, I think, the emphasis on safe play,” Michelle said.

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