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W.A. Day school plans new academy of sport

craig patton

Craig Patton

There will be a renewed focus on sports and physical activity this year at W.A. day school.
New physical education teacher Craig Patton, with support from principal Richard Feller and Grade 5 teacher Andrew Walmsley, is launching the W.A. Day Wolfpack Academy of Sport.
“One thing Richard and I talked about is with a brand-new facility to start fresh and see what we can do to recapture the attention of both parents and kids,” Patton said.
Patton noticed in junior high at F.P. Walshe school there is a general disinterest in sport, particularly among the boys.
There is concern in Canada that young people are spending too much time on their phones and video games, and not enough time being physically active.
The Wolfpack Academy of Sport will run free, co-ed after-school programs in rugby, volleyball, basketball, badminton, track and field, and running and walking throughout the school year.
The plan is to group Grade 1-3 students for hour-long sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Grade 4-5 students on Mondays and Wednesdays. Grade 6 students from F.P. Walshe school are also invited.
Patton said it is likely time will be spent on skill development at each session, followed by games.
The program for each sport will run for about six weeks.
The principles of the Seven Habits taught at W.A. day school will be incorporated into the Wolfpack academy.
At the culmination of each program, the Wolfpack Academy of Sport will invite other schools to send teams for a Friday tournament.
The plan is to make participation fun, easy, affordable and not time-consuming for parents.
“We needed to capture the interest of people so that’s why we called it the Wolfpack Academy of Sport,” Patton said.
Patton is hopeful the Wolfpack will be able to provide a T-shirt and shorts to each student, but that depends on financial support from the community.
“If we’re going to play other schools, we need some uniforms,” Patton added. “I think we’ll find some money in the budget but we’ll see what we can do about getting the community involved.”
Volunteers are also need to coach and officiate, and high school students from F.P. Walshe school have already come forward to volunteer.
One of the aspects of the newly-completed modernization project at W.A Day school was a new, bigger gymnasium, which the Wolfpack Academy of Sport intends to put to good use.
“We want to show the community that we‘re serious,” Patton said, explaining the name for the program. “If you support that and you think it’s important, we want you to be involved.”
Patton is hopeful the Wolfpack Academy of Sport will benefit the community by instilling school spirit that spills into Fort Macleod, encouraging young people to return to their community to raise their families.
There are other benefits from a strong sports program as well.
“The benefits are life-long,” Patton said.
Those benefits include learning about teamwork, dedication, commitment, hard work, sportsmanship and physical fitness.
Anyone interested in getting involved in the Wolfpack Academy of Sport should contact Craig Patton at W.A. Day school.

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