WHITEHORSE—Porter Creek Secondary School students are developing personal leadership, wellness and active living skills through three Leadership Education and Athletic Development (LEAD) sports programs.
“The Leadership Education and Athletic Development Program is a great example of the expanding options available to Yukon students,” Minister of Education Doug Graham said. “This year students had two new programming choices, which focus on hockey or soccer.”
The two additional LEAD programs introduced are LEAD Soccer Academy for students in Grades 9 through 12, and LEAD Hockey Canada Skills Academy for Grade 8 and 9 students. The original LEAD program, now called Senior LEAD, is continuing for students in Grades 10 to 12.
The goals of all three programs are to use sport and physical education as a means to create confident leaders in our community and teach students the importance of citizenship and personal responsibility. LEAD is a half-day program to be delivered over an entire semester.
Amy Vermeulen, a member of the 2008 Canadian Olympic Soccer Team, teaches all three programs. This year’s leadership projects included helping with the Whitehorse Food Bank, teaching Arctic Sports to students in younger grades and planning and implementing physical education classes at Elijah Smith and Jack Hulland Elementary Schools. LEAD students also plan and implement school assemblies to recognize the schools’ arts, academics and athletics.
“Leadership Education and Athletic Development students are earning high school credits while developing important knowledge and skills,” Graham added. “I congratulate Ms. Vermeulen and her students for their work not only as athletes but also as young community leaders.”
In 2013, F.H. Collins Secondary School opened its Physical Literacy Centre in partnership with Sport Yukon. In 2014, LEAD was introduced at Porter Creek Secondary School. Both programs emphasize physical literacy as a way to keep students engaged with their studies and both are variations on a model used by the Canadian Sport Institute.
This year, 12 students participated in Senior LEAD, 17 in LEAD Soccer Academy, and 10 in LEAD Hockey Canada Skills Academy. Enrolment next year is expected to be higher.