Our Athletes, Leading by Example

sportsAthletics are not my forte. My head and heart know the importance of being active. My body prefers curling up with something to read.

On this, our students are my teachers.

It’s been an exceptional term in athletics. Exceptional in determination, participation, sportsmanship and achievement. It’s time I shared how much our students inspire me.

Our students live our Habits on the court and on the field. Some already love the activities they join, and bring leadership, knowledge and experience from outside involvement. Some have little to offer in terms of skills before signing up, and yet bring a willingness to embrace learning and determination to try their best. Despite their nerves, they take that ‘responsible risk’, participate, work hard and grow as athletes. Side-by-side, our most experienced athletes equally take risks, such is the nature of sport and the many decisions inherent in trying to make successful plays. What they all practice through sport are many of the attributes they’ll use for success throughout life.

Our school’s model is designed for participation. KCS offers team and individual sports, as well as competitive and non-competitive options for physical activity. Rather than limit students to just one sport, as they age they’re increasingly allowed to try out for all. In cross-country, touch football and track and field, all who turn up have an opportunity to participate. Ninety-eight students were on our cross-country team, a number far exceeding any other school in the final championship. For those who aren’t as keen on traditional sports, we offer Active Games, Boot Camp, Dance Troupe, Wii Dance, yoga and more. Third term last year we introduced paddle tennis and baseball. In first term there were 12 athletic extra-curricular options and over 200 of our students participated in one or more. Childhood and youth are times for opening doors. At KCS, an exceptional number of athletic doors are open.

On sportsmanship, we couldn’t be more proud. From how our students handle themselves on the court and off, they regularly demonstrate that this rises above winning. If our team has a large lead, our athletes throttle back. When a teammate fell during the cross-country race, one young man stopped running to get the other to a teacher. When our fastest male runner lost to a faster female from another school, he complimented her for a great run and gave a high five. Our students honour the game, the athletes on all sides, and the officials. In doing so, they bring honour to themselves and KCS.

All of the above is more than reason enough to celebrate our athletes. But achievement is also an exception worth mentioning this year. First term alone our students earned championship banners and plaques in the following sports: U12 boys’ soccer, U14 girls’ soccer, U14 girls’ basketball and cross-country. In addition, at the Mentor Invitational Tournament, our touch football teams came first and second out of eight places.

All of this, and I haven’t even mentioned all the athletics our students are involved in outside of KCS: hockey, tennis, golf, dance, skiing, fencing, not to mention the daily collection of impromptu recess games.

To all KCS students who have embraced the ‘Be active’ habit, you set an impressive example. This habit and all you learn as a result will serve you well in all aspects of your life. It’s a hard habit to establish when older. But your unavoidable example, and the Habits poster that I face from my office chair, will tolerate no nonsense. I’m wrapping up this tribute to get out of my chair and follow your lead.

Andrea Fanjoy,
Assistant Head, Academics
You can follow Andrea on Twitter @afanjoy.

Learning from Paddle Tennis

Starting in April, twenty lucky grade 7 and 8 students joined a Paddle Tennis elective at Kingsway Platform Tennis Club. We’ve enjoyed the elective and have learned many new skills. We wanted to share some of the Habits of Mind, Body and Action we’ve learned during our time playing Paddle Tennis.


During Paddle Tennis, all of the students had to persist. Whether we were new to the sport, or had played many times before, we all had to persist to play Paddle Tennis. If you were new to the sport you had to persist during drills and rallies to keep up to more advanced players. If you already knew the sport you had to persist by being patient and encouraging to new players.

Share what you know

During Paddle Tennis, we also had to share what we knew about the sport. All of the students had different things they were great at and things they could improve. Drills helped improve things we didn’t know and when we had already mastered something, we would help students who were still having trouble. Rallying with players at all levels taught us different techniques and strategies. More advanced students were a great help during games.

Overall, Paddle Tennis has been a great experience for everybody and wouldn’t be the same without our amazing teachers and instructors: Ms. Marcynuk, Ms. Silverberg, Ms. Gibson, and Mr. Rogers. We hope to continue Paddle Tennis in the future at KCS. We have made memories and learned things we will never forget. We can’t wait to return to Kingsway Platform Tennis Club to grow on our knowledge of the sport. See you on the courts!

Just Play and the Lessons Learned

Over the past eight years, I’ve been involved coaching and taking my son to minor sports, mainly soccer.  I’ve watched him play for club teams and various school teams over the years.  I’ve written about some of my thoughts on what I’ve seen in minor sports in this blog and in other newsletters at KCS over the years:  treatment of referees by spectators as well as the behaviour of some coaches are topics that I’ve observed and commented on. Upon reflection, I realized that I’ve never written about the players.  And this brings me to a story of watching my son play basketball with five guys he never knew before he stepped on the floor with them on Easter weekend.

My thirteen year old son, Brandon, and I went to work out at the fitness facility our family joined.  We started off together doing various exercises and then he went off to shoot baskets in the gym.  Earlier this year he decided that he was going to play on the school basketball team for the first time.  The playoffs were starting the next week so he wanted to go and practice dribbling and shooting for a while.  After an hour or so I finished what I was doing, and with the help of an oxygen tank, made my way up to the gym.  When I arrived, I noticed Brandon was involved in a 3-on-3 game with some other boys, who ranged in age from 12-15.  I sat and watched for twenty minutes.

To me, this was sports at its essence:  a group of children getting together to play a game.  It reminded me of my childhood when a bunch of us would congregate after school or on the weekend to play road hockey, soccer, football or baseball.  We’d set a time to meet and then we “figured it out” from there.  So many times, other kids we didn’t know would wander by and get invited to play in whatever game we were playing.  Brandon and these five other boys ended up together on the court not knowing each other when they arrived.  They picked teams, changed them when necessary, and called their own fouls.  They congratulated each other on great plays and shots; they competed, disagreed, laughed and poked fun at each other for over an hour.  Amazingly this was all done without listening to the input of others on the sidelines.  They just played.

I think for my son, he likely took away other memories than I did from that Saturday; as a thirteen year old, he’s likely forgotten about the game in the same way he forgets about the things I ask him to do around the house!  But for me that game allowed me to witness something about Brandon’s personality: it showed me that he has the willingness to get together with others he doesn’t know for a brief moment in time, and because they shared a common interest, have a good time.  It also  reminded me what my role is as a parent of an athlete: to get Brandon to his games and training on time, let his coach do the coaching, and let Brandon tell me about the training or the game afterwards.  The rest is really up to him.

Derek Logan
Head of School