Heads Up

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Message from Scott Cowie, Head, Senior Division

scottUpcoming Senior Division dates:

Monday, Dec. 11 and Tuesday, Dec. 12: Year 10 and Year 11 exam preparation continues
Dec. 11 to Wednesday, Dec. 20: Year 12 exams continue
Wednesday, Dec. 13: Exam tutorial day for Year 10 and Year 11 (class attendance optional)
Thursday, Dec. 14 to Dec. 20: Year 10 and Year 11 exams

One of the added benefits of my job is that I have the opportunity to attend some great student events. Unlike others, who pay big bucks to watch the Maple Leafs, Raptors and Blue Jays, or scramble to get tickets to shows like The Phantom of the Opera, I get to see exciting competitive sports games, top-notch live theatre and amazing musical performances here at school.

This past week I had the pleasure of experiencing one of my favourite events of the year, as we hosted the annual Special Olympics basketball tournament. People often ask me what it is about this particular event that I enjoy so much. Without sounding too hokey, I must simply say that I find it very “good for the soul.” There’s a certain form of purity that the participating athletes bring to this exceptional competition, something that we don’t often see in other sporting events.

This purity shines through in many ways:

  • A keen passion for sport. Don’t be mistaken, this is a very competitive environment. But more than winning, the joy of playing is what stands out.
  • A deep respect for all participants. Boys and girls of varying ages and abilities play with and against each other. Their all-inclusive approach to the games shows how much they value each individual’s unique contribution.
  • A genuine appreciation of sportsmanship. On more than one occasion, glasses were knocked off in the heat of play, and I watched opposing players stop the game, pick them up off the floor and hand them to an opponent. There was also a notable absence of jeering, as players positively cheered on their own teammates and those on opposing teams.

Observing all of this from the participants was moving and inspiring, but I’d be remiss if I neglected to mention the contribution of our boys who served at the event in numerous ways, including helping with organizational details, directing participants to where they should be at specific times, refereeing the games, and just generally being a positive force for all of our guests. Kudos too to Deirdre Timusk, our director of CAS and community service, for her part in making it all happen.

Initiatives like the Special Olympics basketball competition present meaningful opportunities for our boys to help others in need. Yet, there’s reciprocal benefit in service activities like this, and we shouldn’t overlook the valuable learning that takes place for students participating in such events. There’s a part of me that wishes all of our boys were watching along with me in the mezzanine last Tuesday. Like me, they would have observed sportsmanship, passion and respect for others in action. But more importantly, they might have experienced that same sense of peacefulness that I did that day – one that comes from sharing simple, joyful moments with others. For a brief instant, we’re distracted from all of life’s daily pressures and catch a striking glimpse of pure humanity.

“There is no greater disability in society than the inability to see a person as more.”
– Robert M. Hensel, poet and activist for disabled persons

Thanks for reading,