Footy with Ottawa Fury

Shawna O'Neill
Footy with Ottawa Fury
From left to right

CORNWALL, Ontario – Students from grades 4 to 6 of École élémentaire catholique Notre-Dame had the opportunity to play soccer with two Ottawa Fury players on Friday, Nov. 30. 

“This year we are launching special programs for all of our students,” explained Pascal Lalonde, Principal of École élémentaire catholique Notre-Dame. “We call them ‘JABs’.”

“The program needs to be learning while moving, which is what the acronym stands for, and the programs need to meet the students’ specific interests,” Lalonde elaborated.

At the beginning of the school year, students had the opportunity to choose to be a part of an athletic program, technology and science program or arts program. Throughout the school year, students of each group will have the opportunity to be involved in activities pertaining to their selection. The athletic program enticed 37 students. So far, these students have had the opportunity to play with the Ottawa 67s.

Lalonde said the initiative is specific to his school, however the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) is encouraging schools to adopt specialized programs. Lalonde believes that because students are offered chances to engage in something that meets their personal interest, they are generally more excited about their learning environment and excel in other subjects.

Emilie LeCavalier, 11, chose the athletic program and was excited to play alongside the Fury.

“I like sports and I thought it would be good for me because I like it a lot,” said LeCavalier, describing why she chose to take part in the athletic program. She especially loves soccer and enjoys playing ball hockey. 

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