School sports help kids develop as people

New LRSD sports convenor takes holistic approach

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/09/2021 (500 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

While the Louis Riel School Division’s new sport convenor’s first priority is getting some school activities up and running after the shutdown, she has much bigger plans for down the road.

“I’m excited to be here. Everyone’s been awesome,” Jordana Milne began.

That said, she begins her role as schools are hopefully coming out of the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means getting existing programs and sports activities up and running again after a year or more of inactivity. She is developing ways to encourage participation.

Supplied photo Jordana Milne, new sports convenor for the Louis Riel School Division, said the division’s inter-school sports activities will follow all public health guidelines.

“We learned some valuable lessons during the pandemic, “Milne said. “Teachers showed their resilience by developing alternative teaching methods that incorporated more outdoor instruction, for example.”

Milne plans on building on those efforts by developing land-based knowledge days and other activities that introduce students to the outdoors.

Sport and recreation are an important part of the school experience, Milne said, adding that she believes such activities contribute to holistic health and students’ senses of well-being and, in the case of sports, provide a school with a cause to rally behind.

“I’m an advocate for coaching beyond the game and thinking beyond the game,” Milne said. “Sports teach us leadership and problem solving skills. They are such an important part of a child’s education.”

Milne certainly has the training for the job. A five-year veteran of the University of Manitoba’s volleyball program, she was a national champion in 2013-14 and was also an assistant coach with the University of Waterloo’ women’s volleyball team. Milne joins LRSD from the U of M’s faculty of kinesiology and recreation management, where she worked with recreation services to deliver programs such as the popular Mini U.

Milne also brings strong academic credentials to her role. She has a masters degree in recreation and leisure studies from Waterloo, and a bachelor of recreation management and community development degree from U of M. She also conducts research on holistic health and well-being in outdoor recreation, tourism, and child-nature relationships.

She said she had an active sport career throughout her school years and appreciates how much it shaped her life.

She sees the role of LRSD sports convenor as an opportunity to pay it forward to the next generation of students. Her job is multi-faceted, and includes ensuring students have good access to extracurricular activities and staff have the proper professional development opportunities.

Milne said LRSD plans on proceeding with a full slate of sports in the safest way possible based on existing public health guidelines, though some may look a little different.

In the school year’s early days, golf and football practices have started up, with hockey and volleyball not far behind. Later in the year there will hopefully be basketball, badminton and ultimate Frisbee.

“Sport and recreation help students become fully developed people, flourishing learners and part of a thriving community,” Milne said. “That model encompasses what sports provide.”

Tony Zerucha

Tony Zerucha
East Kildonan community correspondent

Tony Zerucha is a community correspondent for East Kildonan. Email him at tzerucha@gmail.com

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