Selling the Unity Games Sizzle by Cassidy King

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Hello friends, family, and supporters of the Champion’s for Health Promoting Schools program.

My name is Cassidy King (the one on the left!), I am a second year Champion in the Unity Games Coordinator position alongside Selyen. This year I had the opportunity to teach at Antigua All Girls High School alongside my amazing teaching partners Kara and Emily. Since this is a new school to the program, I was unsure of what to expect and how the collaboration between their curriculum and our program would tie together. On the first day of school I quickly discovered how I would be pushing my practice as they are learning the same content within their theory portion of PE that I learned in my first year of kinesiology. This month I taught human anatomy, exercise physiology, athletic injuries, and identity after sport. Although I was unsure at the beginning, I quickly realized that I was competent to teach this material because of the outstanding professors that I had within the Kinesiology program at the University of the Fraser Valley (Shout out to Amber Johnson). For the practical portion of their PE program we had to modify the lesson plans that our first-year champions created to focus on the skills found within their football (soccer) and basketball units. It was awesome to see the change in the girls’ motivation to participate in PE when we created a fun, engaging atmosphere where they could still focus on developing these skills. By taking a classic ‘drill’ and adding creativity and passion, it ignited a spark within the girls to find their joy in participating in physical activity. Even to the point where we were told by other teachers that we were distracting their class.

The life skill that we primarily focused on during our time here was self-esteem. This was a very powerful life skill to teach and I saw the direct impact that it had on all the other life skills that we taught. The first time introducing this life skill to a class I found that my CCRs were very surface level amongst the group; however, once I shared my own experience with self-esteem I found that the girls started to feel more comfortable sharing their personal struggles with this life skill. Working with my students everyday allowed me to see their growth and how self-esteem impacts their life outside of our lessons. On the first week one told me that she had low self-esteem. When I asked her to share one positive thing about herself, she couldn’t say anything; however, on the last day she told me that because we taught her about self-esteem she now believes that she’s beautiful and knows that no one can take that away from her. This is one of the many examples of how this program empowers our students through the teaching of life skills. This program doesn’t only impact our students, it also impacts us because its moments like these that remind us that everyone is capable of making a difference.

Today was our last Unity Games Day where we had the opportunity to go to Adele and T.N. Kirnon. Although I woke this morning pumped for UG and ready to sell the sizzle, it was bittersweet as today was our last day of teaching. Adele in the morning was a blast. Once again Adele was one of the most memorable Unity Games for me. The students’ energy and enthusiasm is contagious and was a fantastic way to kick off our last Unity Games Day. After a break for lunch and a team picture we headed over to T.N. Kirnon. A portion of our day is instilling a leadership role within the grade 6 students at each school. As I walked around the field today, I was very impressed with the students who stepped up to be leader at their last Unity Games before moving on to secondary school. After spending the semester before creating these games with Selyen, being able to pause within this day and see these games come to life and reach their full potential is a moment I’ll always hold on to. I want to thank all my fellow champions because this wouldn’t be possible without their hard work and dedication to Unity Games.

Tonight we were invited to Principle Hyacinth Barrero’s house where we enjoyed a delicious Antiguan BBQ. We enjoyed good food with great company. It was a great way to wrap up our experience here with the team on this amazing island of Antigua.

Sincerely,

Cassidy King

Antigua All Girls High School

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