École Arthur Meighen School saw a boost in its sports activities after more interest in the extra-curricular pastime increased. It paid off, with both boys' and girls' teams winning basketball championships.
Vice Principal Doyle Moar says this season has been tremendous.
"For basketball, we only had one girls' team this year," says Moar. "Usually, we have one or two, but we didn't have as many girls interested this year. They had a really good season and they ended up winning in the finals. They got the City Championship in Winnipeg, so that was really exciting for our school. Our boys had three basketball teams this year and all were successful. We had our one team, the Purple Eagles, make it to the finals and they ended up winning the finals, as well."
He notes the school teams have had a tough go of it for the last few years as far as interest in participation was concerned. However, Moar adds, now they're ready and want to compete and represent their school.
Moar explains it's even more exciting, noting they've only had the odd win since he's been involved in the school.
"Since COVID, last year was the first year we got back into it and had somewhat of a regular extracurricular programming schedule," continues Moar. "Because of the following two years, when we didn't do anything, it's been really nice to get that stuff going again. It just builds culture and community within your school. Just having kids going to other schools and competing, and all those types of things, are just more opportunities. We know if kids have these types of opportunities, it's going to serve them better in the future as they move on to high school."
An added plus in all of this includes the comeback of École Crescentview School principal Tracy Vanstone as the proud coach for the teams. She was assisted by Brendan McCulloch and Brady Nurse.
"They helped me coach the boys' Grade 7 and 8 Arthur Meighen School basketball teams," says Vanstone, "I'm coming back to coaching after 20 years. I used to coach the Varsity PCI team and it was just an honour to coach these kids. At the beginning of the season, we were uncertain of our skills and abilities. Our first game, we lost to Oakville and then we continued to improve throughout the whole entire year. I can tell you I was a little nervous going to a few schools. We headed over to La Verendrye. They're a really tough team. We were fortunate to defeat them in the semis, then headed on to the finals, and went over to Oakville again."
She adds the Oakville match was quite intimidating, seeing as there was a barnful of Oakville people and kids hoping that Arthur Meighen would lose.
"I just really wanted to win that game and, you know, the boys really wanted to win that game," adds Vanstone. "I am really proud that we pulled together. I think it was about teamwork and we talked a lot about what it takes to win. It's not about individual skill and talent."
Vanstone says they used Michael Jordan's quote about winning championships.
"It takes intelligence and teamwork, and I think we really focused on that," notes Vanstone. "It was a shared goal of everyone on the team to win that championship. So, it's a real honour."
She says she loves working with Arthur Meighen, noting most of the students there had attended Crescentview, and she enjoys keeping that connection with them.
"I love basketball. I love coaching, and I'm actually starting up the Grade 3-4 program here next week," adds Vanstone. "Some of the Grade 8 students that I coached, and some of the other Grade 8 players, are going to help coach. So, we're going to run a lunch-hour program on Monday, Thursday, and Friday at the school for our Grades 3s and 4s."