The 2017/18 sports and athletics season has ended for Georges P. Vanier, but on one wall in the main gym are seven new banners that students, coaches and staff can take pride in.
The school hosted its annual ‘Colours Night’ in the evening of June 7, with a hamburger dinner served in the junior high gym beforehand. At 7 p.m., everyone gathered in the main gym for the awards presentations and the unfurling of the banners.
Principal Pam Heckbert welcomed everyone and reflected on the sports/athletics year just past.
“We had a wonderful year,” says Heckbert. “Athletically, we had a lot to celebrate. True education is addressing the skills and attitudes that are often taught best outside the classroom.”
It is the coaches who provide those opportunities, she adds.
“If you want to contribute to a kid’s life, be a coach.”
Aidan Charest and Camille Pele were the masters of ceremony for the event and they invited the coaches and each team on stage. Each coach recognized several of their team members with certificates and reflected on the season, too.
Seven banners were unfurled during the evening, too:
. Junior High Girls Golf Zone Champions.
. Junior High Boys Volleyball Divisional Champions 17-18.
. Junior High Boys Volleyball Zone Champions 17-18.
. 2017 2A Girls Volleyball Provincials Northwest Wildcard.
. Senior High Mixed Curling Zone Champions 17-18.
. 2018 HPSD Divisional Badminton Tournament Junior High Champions.
. Junior High Badminton Zone Champions 17-18.
The top male and female junior and senior high athlete awards were also presented:
. Darby Heckbert, recipient of the Junior High Female Athlete Award.
. Aldeen Garcia, recipient of the Junior High Male Athlete Award.
. Kennedy Turcotte, recipient of the Senior High Female Athlete Award.
. Chris Key, recipient of the Senior High Male Athlete Award.
The ‘Flying V’ Award was also presented to four students: Bobby Brochu, Brendyn Limoges, Shanele Morin and Kennedy Turcotte.
Near the end of the event, Heckbert announced that Marion Lessard is retiring after serving for 33 years at Georges P. Vanier. Heckbert offered her thoughts about Lessard’s service.
“We know that for children to learn, truly receive an education, they must have access to many experiences that allow for the process of education to happen. Education is much more than literacy, math, science, problem solving. True education includes addressing skills and attitudes that are often taught best by experiences outside the classroom. Because of this, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who coaches. People who give their time and energy to filling this crucial societal role deserve our thanks and respect. They are teaching kids respect, fair play, tolerance, excellence, perseverance, resiliency, teamwork, and celebration. They are also modelling the importance of citizenship, volunteering, and relationship building for and with their community.
“This year we are saying goodbye to a special coach. Marion Lessard has been coaching kids for most of her life (we won’t mention the numbers). Her true athletic passions have always been figure skating and track and field. For our students over as many years as I can remember, she has coached our cross country running teams and our track teams.
“There are many banners in this gym that have been won under Mrs. Lessard’s coaching. She has always made sure all students had the opportunity to swim, run, play, skate, experience sport, and experience what it is to be part of a team. She is a tireless advocate for sport, and celebration of success in sport, but more importantly, she is a tireless advocate for kids. Her goal has always been that children are to be loved, nurtured, treated with caring and kindness, and allowed to be who they are no matter their strengths or talents… that everyone can fill a role, and that everyone can find their sport.
“So, Mrs. Lessard, we will miss you out on the path, in the pit, on the road, in the field, and on the bus. We wish you all the best in your retirement and sincerely hope that you visit us as a fan in the stands, and continue cheering for Vanier’s strong athletic programs….the legacies you did so much to create. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”
Lessard received a standing ovation as the event concluded.