If there are many young people like Anna Maidment, our community is in good hands. Anna is 11 years old and is in Grade 6 at Christ the King School. Her favourite classes are math, science, and gym.
I asked her what her grades where like.
"I have a 98% average," she said.
Well-rounded would be the appropriate term for Anna. She is insightful, careful with her words, very thoughtful and she absolutely loves sports. Dance, kung fu, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and strength and conditioning are just some of the sports she has been involved with.
She has enjoyed success at all levels and in all the sports she’s involved with.
Asked which is her favourite, her answer comes quickly.
"Volleyball, because I get to play with my friends and my dad. It’s fun and challenging."
Anna’s dad Mike is a coach with the 13-year-old Bison volleyball team. I asked him whether Anna is looking to specialize in a sport.
"She’s at the age where most kids are already specialized, and I think it’s too young," he said.
I often wonder about this. It seems that, as of late, the age at which a young athlete focuses on only one sport is constantly decreasing.
"We want to try to keep her in a cross training-type mode", Mike said.
Anna herself loves the variety; she really enjoys trying the different sports.
"It’s fun and I get to have a lot of fun with my good friends."
I really like the approach to sport that Anna and her parents, Mike and Angie, are taking.
The word I most often heard in talking to them was "fun".
Already at 11, Anna is playing some sports at a fairly competitive level. There is no shortage of competitiveness. However, what is at the foundation of Anna playing the sports she enjoys, is the most important aspect of sport — having fun.
Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicker Troy Westwood is co-host of The Big Show, every weekday morning from 6 to 10 a.m. on TSN 1290 radio. He writes about Winnipeg’s unsung sports heroes every other week in the Canstar Community News weeklies.