On May 15, more than 1,000 students of disparate abilities from kindergarten to Grade 8 competed at the annual York Region District School Board Students of Differing Abilities Athletics and Activities Meet at the Stouffville Arena complex.
Student athletes rotated between competing in track and field events and games. Traditional track and field activities included running events, relay, obstacle course, standing jump, distance ball throw and precision toss. New games, included this year, were bubbles and parachute, Just Dance and a bean-bag relay.
“It is really great to see so many students of varying abilities and needs be able to participate and compete in track and field events here in York Region,” said Alex Pancharovski, Stornoway Crescent and Willowbrook Public Schools principal. “We’ve worked really hard to be inclusive and provide a variety of activities to give the students a great time.”
The students were divided into three age groups – youngest athletes (primary), middle ages (junior) and older athletes (intermediate). Formerly known as the Elementary Special Needs Track Meet, the Students of Differing Abilities competition hopes to continue the tradition of creating a rich, rewarding and inclusive experience for everyone involved.
In attendance at the event were families, student volunteers from Stouffville Secondary School, intermediate students from Glad Park Public School and liaison officers from the York Regional Police.
The secondary school track and activity meet for students in Grades 9-12 will be held on May 29 (rain date is May 30) at Bill Crothers Secondary School.
Main photo: Oscar Peterson students are thrilled with the addition of the parachute event. Julie Williams photo