As social distancing measures continue, school boards have gotten creative to make up for all the events students have missed out on this year. The Algoma District School Board (ADSB) has launched a unique campaign that encourages staff and students to stay active and connected – despite their physical distance: its first-ever Virtual Track and Field Meet.
This June 15-19, all ADSB students and staff are invited to participate in any of the listed events, which include various race distances, standing long jump, plank, wall sit, and 1lb soup can throw.
Mendy Snider, Coordinator and Well Being Special Assignment Teacher, says the idea came about organically. “Across different social media platforms, I was seeing various organizations host 5K ‘fun runs’ and it just occurred to me that our students were about to miss another big milestone – our annual track and field meet,” says Snider. “It was one way to get everyone active and involved.”
Well-being has become a central focus of the ADSB’s strategic initiatives. “With our 'Learn at Home' program, we also send out weekly suggestions for movement and physical activities that students and parents can participate in,” she says. “A virtual track and field meet will hopefully get people out and moving – while also practicing social distancing, of course.”
Participants can try any or every event in any safe space – even their own backyard. After completion, they are encouraged to email a picture that documents their time or distance. Raffle prizes are available to random participants – in other words, there won’t be any official rewarding of first, second, and third place.
While there isn’t any real replacement to an actual in-person track and field meet – this might just be the next best thing. “I have kids too and they are missing those ‘fun days’ at school and other events,” says Snider. “This is a way to really encourage kids to get involved, stay connected with their school communities, and be active.”
Another advantage is that there aren’t any “try-outs”. “There are students who may have never gotten the opportunity to participate in a track and field event before – and now they can,” says Snider, noting that it’s not about the competition, but about doing your personal best.
All ADSB staff and students who are interested can register for the Virtual Track and Field Meet at www.adsb.on.ca and read up on further details.