High schools from Chapleau to Elliot Lake, and everywhere in between, representing both the Algoma District School Board (ADSB) and Huron Superior District Catholic School Board (HSDCSB), showed off their striking school spirit today at Bon Soo’s 4th Annual ABCD School Olympics.
ABCD, Action for Building a Community that is Drug Free, was originally a community initiative that began 8-10 years ago, explained ADSB Communications Officer, Fran Walsh.
“Initially, we had guest speakers coming in to talk to students, and they would tell scary stories and personal stories,” Walsh said, “the kids saw it as effective but eventually were kind of saying, ‘what do you want us to do then?’”
This is when the ABCD School Olympics came to life, a fun and competitive event between schools that Walsh credits the students for bringing to fruition. She described it’s creation, “It’s the student voices that really came up with the alternate to being high, and that is physical activity. The natural highs. They coined taglines like ‘natural highs’ and ‘drug free naturally.’ And this event, I mean wow, what better way to exemplify physical activity as a natural high?”
Students competed in the School Olympics with soaring spirits, tremendous energy, and roaring laughter – an abundancy of natural high – proving the effectiveness of a little healthy competition and getting a sweat on!
Walsh dubbed this year’s event “the best one yet,” with nine schools and over two hundred students in attendance. Each team had ten students, and most schools had two to three teams, as well as their mascot present.
Activities included soccer baseball, a selfie scavenger hunt, tug of war, flag football, and many more winter games, all created by students from each school.
Over the lunch hour, teams presented their ‘healthy holla’ a school cheer put together to shout out a healthy high message that went towards their final score.
Students were hyped at the end of the day, as activities closed off with an action-packed dance-off between mascots. School pride burned fiercely as the teens jubilantly cheered on their costumed-and-masked pals.
The ABCD project began as a partnership between the Sault Ste. Marie Police Services, Algoma Public Health, who made today’s event possible, with the school boards in our region.
The Top Four Finishers in the event were;
1) Superior Heights Team 2
2) Saint Mary’s College Team 1
3) White Pines Team 2
4) Korah Team 1
Each team was awarded a participation medal and big yummy cookie.
Winning team, Superior Heights Team 2, took home the most points and a massive trophy to show for it!
Other partners who contributed to the ABCD festivities include TD Canada Trust, the Soo Thunderbirds hockey team, and of course, Bon Soo, as well as the Machine Shop for a great venue to accommodate a high volume of energetic students!