Guiding Tomorrow's Olympians

More on the Authorship

“A gifted teacher is not only prepared to meet the needs of today’s child, but is also prepared to foresee the hopes and dreams in every child’s future.” – Robert John Meehan

September is upon us and many of us have gone back to school. For some, that could mean a little bit of apprehension, a touch of excitement, relief or even an overall sadness that summer is over. However, for many, that “back to school feeling” also holds the promise of new beginnings.

With the Olympics recently coming to an end, and with Canada’s great success, I am left wondering about how many physical education teachers had a hand in developing some of those athletes. Physical education may represent the foundation where the majority of athletes begin to develop skills through exposure to a variety of activities, games and sports and gain an appreciation for movement and its many benefits. As well as sport-related skills, students are also developing the social, emotional and cognitive skills needed for success.

During the Olympics, many of us were glued to television screens, the Internet and social media to watch these athletes in action. In those 16 days of high-level competition, more than 10,000 athletes competed for a chance of winning at least one of the 300 medals up for grabs. However, it’s not always about the medal; sometimes eighth- or tenth-place finishes are just as heroic, and those come-from-behind victories equally inspiring. Credit goes out to the journalists, producers and media outlets who were also able to provide viewers with insights into the long journeys athletes took to get to the Olympics, instead of simply focussing on the final performance.

For the many children who followed the Olympics, I hope they learned positive lessons about hard work, perseverance, fair play, respect, discipline and sacrifice, and are encouraged and motivated to learn about sports and be active participants.

September is upon us and these children are now coming to your gymnasium on a regular basis. Some of these students may have dreams of one day competing at the Olympics. Let’s help these students fulfill their dreams by providing them with a well-planned physical education program offering a variety of learning opportunities so that they can develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed not only to be successful, but to be active now and in the future.