Jake Webster and Ashleigh Jones share a smile and a high-five Friday

Team spirit shines as Semi teens unite in sport

Semi students 'Get the Ball Rolling' to encourage participation.

Mann Park Lawn Bowling Club was a hive of high-fives, praise and smiles Friday as teams of Semiahmoo Secondary students took to the green for a tournament and barbecue.

The afternoon was the culmination of the teens’ ‘Get the Ball Rolling’ project – an initiative of Semi’s leadership students that connected them with their peers from the school’s BASES program, through the sports of bocce and lawn bowling.

Lauren & BerlynThe BASES program is for students with special needs, with challenges ranging from autism and Down syndrome to visual impairment.

Department head Ryan Deutsch said more than 35 Grade 8 to 12 students enrolled this school year, and the opportunity to work with the leadership team was a welcome one, creating connections the teens may otherwise not have experienced.

“Friendship, somebody that they recognize in the hallways – just feeling like they belong in the school,” Deutsch said.

He described the results as “awesome.” Judging by the scene Friday, the students felt the same.

“Excuse me – I’m happy,” said one teen, giving a smile and a thumbs-up when asked if he was having a good day.

Jake Webster beamed at the success of his bowl, sharing an enthusiastic high-five with leadership student Ashleigh Jones after an intense moment of watching its progress on the rink.

PE department head and leadership co-ordinator Lori Pajic said the wrap-up event was funded by a $500 Motivate Canada grant, which was awarded to the leadership team for the youth-driven initiative.

Pajic said the teens chose to focus on their peers in the BASES program, and planned an initiative that would encourage participation. Prior to Friday’s tournament, they spent time together learning how to play both sports.

The teens took a lot away from the experience, Pajic said.

“I think a lot of them learned a lot from it,” she said. “The whole point of it is to try and encourage it to go forward.”

The camaraderie amongst the students Friday left a strong impression with club officials.

“I am incredibly fascinated by the generosity of the leadership students,” club president Bryant Avery said. “Some of these other students are unable to do much at all (and) the leadership students are coming up and giving ’em high fives, (saying) ‘great bowl’. It’s very heartening. It’s one of the reasons why we do it.”

Avery described the club’s involvement as a way to give back, and an opportunity to change the stereotype that lawn bowling is a sport just for the older generation.

“Here in this area, bowling has the reputation of being an old-folks’ game. Elsewhere, that’s not the case,” Avery said, noting one of the region’s best players is in his 20s.

Seong & Liam

Just Posted

Saddle bronc rider earns highest score in Cloverdale Rodeo’s history

In 73 years, no one had achieved a 94 in saddle bronc —until last night

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop, closes section of Fraser Highway

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

Surrey RCMP search for missing 17-year-old girl

Mikayla Logan was last seen in Guildford on Tuesday, May 14

COLUMN: ‘Smart growth’ lacking in Surrey

Surrey council’s approval of infrastructure projects in the Tynehead area shows the… Continue reading

GALLERY: Cloverdale Rodeo Parade brings thousands through the town centre

From ponies to hot rods, the 73rd annual parade had it all

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Multi-vehicle collision on highway in Chilliwack

Accident involves several vehicles, in the westbound lanes says Drive BC

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read

l -->