ETFO encourages students to learn about diverse legends of Canadian sport

ETFO encourages students to learn about diverse legends of Canadian sport

January 29, 2016

A new learning resource celebrating the achievements of diverse Canadian Olympians and multisport games legends has been created for public elementary students by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

For Black History Month, twenty-one athletes have been profiled on a poster, beginning with track and field Olympian John ‘Army’ Howard who competed in the 1912 Summer Games. Howard was also the grandfather of Canadian sprinters Harry Jerome, who set seven world records, and runner Valerie Jerome who won bronze at the 1959 Pan Am Games and competed in the 1960 summer Games along with her brother.

Barbara Howard, one of the fastest sprinters in the world in the late 1930s, was the first Black female athlete to represent Canada in international competitions. She went on to become the first racialized teacher hired by the Vancouver school system and remains active today.

“Canada has a rich history of levelling the playing field through sport and we continue to do so today”, said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “ETFO is encouraging our members to incorporate such thematic units in teaching this spring as they highlight Canada’s Olympians at the 2016 Rio Summer Games.”

Along with profiles of sprinter Donovan Bailey, decathlete Michael Smith and heavyweight boxer Lennox Lewis, the resource celebrates recent athletes like Kadeisha Buchanan, who at 20 years old became FIFA’s ‘best young player’, synchronized swimmer Jennifer Abel, basketball player Kia Nurse and sprinter Andre De Grasse.