Time is a huge commodity, something student athletes have grown to know all too well.
The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) has joined in on a huge initiative directed at our city’s young stars.
The Women’s Sport Foundation has found that by the age of 14, girls are two times more likely to drop out of their preferred sport than boys. A number as staggering on one side as it is on the other. This does clearly show that there are too many barriers student athletes must face, taking personal value away from their healthy active lifestyle.
“Can Canadian high schools help young people become exceptional athletes, students and community leaders? We definitely think we can,”
~rallies Paul McKenzie, superintendent of student achievement at TVDSB.
Though sports drop-out rates have both unique and differing reasons between boys and girls, the Women’s Sports Foundation has found that girls will quit their sport because of:
- Lack of Access (girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities than boys in high school sports)
- Decreased Quality of Experience (as girls progress in sports, their is significantly less funding for them than in boys’s sports)
- Lack of Positive Role Models
Academy for Student Athlete Development (ASAD) aims to grab these issues by the root.
— Rugby Ontario (@RugbyOntario) March 13, 2018
The program claims to be “the world’s first sports academy model founded on the value of inclusion and designed to reduce financial barriers, providing more opportunities for student athletes to shine on sport’s biggest stages.” as stated in today’s media release.
Athletes enrolled in the program take time away from their TVDSB schools to rally at the Western Fair District Sports Complex. There they spend time on strength and skill development classes, and substitute much of the in class learning for online E-learning courses.
This schedule budgets time for athletes grades 9-12 to focus on school work, social life and family life; all while giving it their all on the ice/court or field. After partnering with ASAD the director of Education for the TVDSB spoke on behalf of why London is so intrigued in the program.
“Better people make better athletes” ~Laura Elliot, Director of Education for TVDSB
To put it simply student athletes often spend upwards of 10 hours a week out of their social development and studying time to work on sports. The new way to manage your sports schedule is something she knows students can and should take advantage of.
Take for example, Payton Beckett. She is an 11th grade Synchronized Figure Skater with the same problems as your average high school athlete.
Payton credits this model in helping her become the best athlete she can be.
“Without ASAD, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to chase my dream. This program is filled with incredible athletes and people who are making me a better athlete, student and person. It’s made me even more driven to succeed so I can represent London and Canada on the world stage.” Beckett preaches.
Also on board with the program is already heavily established in Canadian kid’s athletics. Stuart McReynolds, national director of ASAD and programs director with Abilities Centre, credits much of student athletes success to the programs and helping hands along the way.
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Had a fantastic time interviewing the student-athletes of the new Academy for Student Athletics Development (ASAD) this morning #LdnOnt ASAD is a program that works along side @thamesvalleydsb to give student athletes the resources and time they need to excel socially, educationally and physically within their game of choice @XFMNews @abilitiescentre
“These students would not succeed without the support of the school board, our local coaches and trainers, Canadian Tire Jumpstart, and the local community here in London.”
~Stuart McReynolds, National Director of ASAD
11 out of the 13 graduates of the program have advanced into NCAA and U-Sports level of competition out of ASAD’s headquarters in Whitby. This proves how much of an asset ASAD is to student athletes given the opportunity.
ASAD is looking to grow as they continue spreading the word from team-to-team and school-to-school around your London, Ontario.