Schools from across the DDSB participate in the Abilities Track and Field Meet.
By Sarah Racioppa
"More powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin." – The Athlete's Oath
On June 15, elementary and secondary schools from across the Durham District School Board gathered at the Oshawa Civic Fields to participate in the Abilities Track and Field Meet. Organized and hosted by the Durham Elementary Athletic Association (DEAA), the event brought in over 750 student athletes.
The sun was shining and so were the students, as they participated in events such as: sprinting, high jump, long jump, softball throw, and shotput. The first half of the day saw the elementary students taking on the sprinting, while the secondary students tackled the rest of the events. In the afternoon, the elementary and secondary students switched events.
Special Education Officer Andrea McAuley says that full credit for organizing the event goes to DEAA. "DEAA does an outstanding job. They run it, and we support it." Special Education facilitators, school staff, students' families, and the community come together to cheer on the athletes. "It's very community based," adds McAuley. Physiotherapists took the morning off from work to see their clients thrive, and members of the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) also attended.
Gina Waduck, Athletic Program Coordinator for the DDSB and member of DEAA, says that the DEAA Abilities Track and Field Meet is beyond words. "It is such an inclusive event that brings pure joy and enthusiasm to everyone involved – students, support staff, coordinators and spectators. Everyone is a winner!"
The students experienced a full day of athletic accomplishment and team building within their own school group and with other schools. The Abilities Meet is an incredible day of friendly competition and unified celebration.
"There's a few days in our calendar that highlight the inclusionary practices in Durham," says McAuley. "The Abilities Track and Field Meet is certainly on the top of that list."
A student from Pickering High School shows off his collection of ribbons.
Elementary school students sprint to the finish line.
A high school student flies over the high jump bar.
Students of all abilities participated in the track and field events.
Students and staff from Fallingbrook Public School and West Lynde Public School sit back and enjoy the beautiful weather at the Abilities Track and Field Meet.