Sharing the Olympic spirit

Raissa Tetanish
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AMHERST - The Olympics are coming to town.

Both Spring Street Academy and Cumberland North Academy are making sure the Olympic spirit is high this month with a number of events planned.

Beginning today, students at Spring Street Academy will kick off their celebrations with a torch run in the morning and opening ceremony in the afternoon.

"We have made two wooden Olympic torches identical to my original, the kids are all wearing red and white and we're running outside," said Daren White, the physical education teacher at the school and who also carried the torch two months ago during its cross-Canada journey.

The torch run will begin at 9 a.m. and go until 1:30 p.m., which is when the opening ceremonies will start.

The ceremony will feature Olympic dances performed by those in Grades 5 and 6, and Olympic songs from Grades 3 and 4 students.

The guest list will include former torch runners from the community, town representatives and an alumni from the Amherst Jr. A Ramblers.

"Students will be making fireworks with flashlights, we're constructing a 12-foot high Inukshuk and every class has been assigned an event, such as bobsledding or snowboarding halfpipe, and will be designing flags for their events."

During the opening ceremonies, one of the replica torches will be given away to one lucky student at the school.

Every day next week, students will be competing in different sporting events, such as the biathlon, curling and sledge hockey, and Thursday they will play a game of ball hockey against the Ramblers.

"We've also collected over 600 juice can lids that students will be decorating next week to be used for friendship medals," said White, adding the medals will be given away during the closing ceremonies next Friday.

"We don't have a winter carnival here. One of the students' parents came to me when he found out we were doing something about the Olympics and he told me he remembered when I taught him about the Olympics at the school in Northport back in 1988. He still remembers those events, and I want these kids to remember it too."

Because White was able to be a part of the torch run this year, he wants the students to feel as much a part of the winter Olympics this year as he was.

"I want to make it as authentic as can be," he said.

Monday morning will see Cumberland North Academy in Brookdale host an opening ceremonies, followed by an afternoon of sporting competitions on Feb. 16. Closing ceremonies will take place on Feb. 19.

Attempts to reach West Highlands Elementary were unsuccessful.

rtetanish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Street Academy, Cumberland North Academy, Cross-Canada Amherst Jr. A Ramblers

Geographic location: AMHERST, Northport, Brookdale

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  • Dale
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    The event at Spring Street Academy was nothing short of amazing. Many thanks to the staff of SSA for thier dedication to our children and a special thank you to Mr White who time and again gives of himself for our community. We are richly blessed to have these teachers, thank you.