Students in Airdrie and surrounding area are gearing up to participate in a long-standing, Canadian fall tradition this week – the annual Terry Fox Run.
According to a press release from Rocky View Schools (RVS), École Edwards Elementary School is hosting their event on Sept. 23, while École Airdrie Middle School and Heloise Lorimer School have planned the run for Sept. 24. Runs are also set to take place at RVS schools in Chestermere, Indus, Langdon, and Cochrane.
“It’s pretty cool to get students feeling empowered, and doing it in a safe way is really, really neat,” said Adam Pratt, the lead physical education teacher at Heloise Lorimer School.
Pratt added that in order to execute Heloise Lorimer’s event safely, staggered starts and alternate routes have been implemented for different grades. Students are encouraged to stay with their classmates and homeroom teacher to reduce inter-class interaction.
The teacher explained that students were challenged to raise $2,021 this fall, as a way to put a spin on what has been another challenging 12 months.
“It’s been a weird year. So, [we're] using that year as the goal is a different way to reframe it as a positive year,” he said.
According to Pratt, Heloise Lorimer students are also learning about Fox’s legacy and how it connects to one of their school’s seven virtues – courage.
“There’s big courage, like what Terry Fox did, but a lot of people show courage doing different things every single day,” he said, adding this mindset is always important, but even more so during the current social climate.
Last year, Pratt shaved his head in front of all his phys-ed students as their award for reaching the $2,000 fundraising target.
This year, he said the challenge has been implemented into a relatively new “squad” program which has all students and staff divided into teams, as they compete in challenges to earn points.
Pratt said elements of the program are currently on hold due to newly announced school cohort requirements, but the first challenge of the year would be to see which squad could raise the most money and wear their team colours on the day of the run – which would earn them points.
He added he will then dye his hair the colour of the winning squad.
Given the importance of the Terry Fox Run, Pratt said he is looking forward to seeing how Heloise Lorimer’s students fare in their fundraising efforts this fall.
“The amount of money that RVS raises by supporting events like this is massive,” he said.