Nowadays education consists of much more than the basic three Rs: reading, ‘riting and ’rithmetic. The curriculum of all students starting with the youngest children has been broadened to encompass the three As: academics, arts, and athletics. The first two provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary for a productive citizen who’s able to unleash his or her creativity, whereas the third promotes a healthy lifestyle and stimulates a love of sport. The importance of athletics and sports is often underestimated; however, many researchers have confirmed that physical activity and sports are crucial components of the learning process not only because of the health benefits but also for introducing children to important social skills such as teamwork, discipline, and following instructions. Furthermore, a 2008 paper by scholars Francois Trudeau and Roy J. Shephard published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity suggests that physical activity doesn’t have a negative effect on the academic performance of primary school students but positively influences concentration, memory, and classroom behaviour.
The Vancouver School Board is aware of the benefits of physical activities and sports and it therefore provides 30 extracurricular leagues for sports ranging from basketball and soccer to wrestling and table tennis. According to them,
Altogether more than 20,000 students play on over 1,000 teams throughout the city. As well, most schools also have informal intramural sports teams.
The most successful public and private schools frequently offer athletic programs of a quality that can be compared to those of college and universities. It’s common that schools require some sort of athletic participation as part of their curriculum. The Greater Vancouver Independent Schools Athletic Association is a sports conference of private schools in the Greater Vancouver Regional District that includes 32 member schools that cooperate to develop, support, and deliver sport and recreation programs to the youth of British Columbia. Even though many successful schools participate in the GVISAA, there’s an abundance of schools that provide decent athletic and sport programs without being members. Here’s a short guide including both public and private schools that offer various physical activities and sports of decent quality.
St. John’s School is an independent, IB World School for boys and girls grades kindergarten to 12. Students at St. John’s participate in a huge variety of athletic, artistic, and academic co-curricular activities. The St. John’s athletic program that supplements the school’s academic program provides opportunities for students to develop time management skills, self-discipline, and commitment. Their teams compete in the Greater Vancouver Independent Schools Athletic Association. The sports teams of St John’s enjoy a high level of participation; 75 per cent of grade 4-7 students play on the basketball team. Furthermore, St. John’s offers a variety of camps during the off-season and over school breaks for students to complement the athletics program. Their athletic program consists of both team and individual sport activities such as basketball, cross-country running, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, soccer, golf, badminton, ski and snowboard club, track and field, and gymnastics.
West Point Grey Academy is an independent, co-educational, university preparatory school with more than 930 students and 100 faculty members. They offer a wide range of programs and classes from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. All students of West Point Grey Academy from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 are enrolled in physical education classes. WPGA offers a great campus featuring modern sport grounds. WPGA teams compete as members of the Canadian Association of Independent Schools. Furthermore, school teams compete in local city and independent school leagues as well as in the A division of the British Columbia School Sports Provincial Championships. Students of WPGA currently hold the BC Elementary Schools track and field champions title. WPGA teams excel in all sports.
St. George’s School is an independent boarding and day university preparatory school for boys grades 1 to 12. St. George’s sports teams include rugby, soccer, ice and field hockey, basketball, badminton, tennis, cricket, ultimate frisbee, swimming, water polo, rowing, cross-country running, track and field, golf, volleyball, and triathlon. All of their teams have done extremely well in various competitions in the past ten years. They also offer several other sports on a recreational basis as well as a sequential outdoor educational program under the coordination of a full-time director, which promotes the development of life-long outdoors skills.
Vancouver College is the only all-boys, independent Catholic school in British Columbia. The athletic program at Vancouver College is an important part of the school’s curriculum, nurturing both the elite athlete and enthusiastic participant through extramural sports. The school competes in a broad range of sports including badminton, soccer, basketball, golf, track and field, cross-country, swimming, lacrosse, wrestling, downhill skiing, rowing, ultimate Frisbee, football, volleyball, ice hockey, snowboarding, tennis, rugby, and squash. They’ve earned a great reputation for excellent football, basketball, track and field, and rowing programs where they traditionally rank among the top teams in British Columbia.
Stratford Hall is the only school in Canada fully authorized to offer the three International Baccalaureate programmes exclusively from kindergarten to grade 12 and one of only five schools in North America. Students of Stratford Hall have rich opportunities in co-curricular activities. Athletics comprise an important part of the school’s curriculum; begining at grade 4, students can participate in a number of school teams, including cross-country running, soccer, volleyball, basketball, ultimate frisbee, track and field, badminton, floor hockey, and softball. Stratford Hall is a successful member of many diffenrent independent school leagues.
York House is a prominent independent day school for girls located in the centre of Shaughnessy in Vancouver. At York House, academics and arts go hand in hand with athletics. The York House School athletics program emphasizes building character through commitment and participation in healthy, competitive sport. Starting in grade 3, girls may get involved in an abundance of sports such as volleyball, cross-country running, field hockey, swimming, badminton, basketball, skiing, water polo, squash, track and field, soccer, and ultimate frisbee. The school’s teams are called the Tigers. In basketball, the Tigers have won 8 AA Provincial Championships, in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, and 2011. In the 2010-2011 school year, the Tigers won the British Columbia Championship in girl’s swimming and girl’s alpine skiing. Furthermore, York House girls together with boys from St. George’s have won three British Columbia titles in ultimate Frisbee.
St. Jude’s School is an independent catholic elementary (K-7) school located near Renfrew Street on Vancouver’s east side. Their sport teams compete under the name of the Patriots. St. Jude offers a wide variety of sports such as volleyball, basketball, track and field, and many other intramural athletics. Intramural sports include floor hockey and basketball. At St. Jude’s they strive to help children develop a sense of responsibility for and appreciation of themselves, their family, and their community.
Lord Selkirk Elementary School
Lord Selkirk Elementary School was founded in 1908 and is a part of School District 39 Vancouver. The school is renowned for its successful athletics program and very high participation from students. Their teams make it very often to district and city championships. The most popular sports at Selkirk are soccer, cross-country running, volleyball, basketball, track and field, and badminton.
Renfrew School is a traditional school built in the late 1920s that enrolls approximately 425 students from kindergarten to grade 7. Apart from the regular physical education program, Renfrew offers many outdoor education programs and sports, including kayaking, cross-country skiing, cross-country running, volleyball, basketball, badminton, and track and field. Furthermore, they hold monthly school-wide runs to help students become physically fit.
Sir James Douglas Elementary School is located on the south-east slope of Vancouver. It currently enrolls 525 students. It offers many extra-curricular programs and activities and school experiences that are designed to enhance student learning. They participate in many interschool athletic programs, including cross-country running, soccer, volleyball, track and field, and basketball.
Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School, located in the Collingwood neighbourhood, is part of School District 39 Vancouver. Their school teams, the Eagles, have achieved a lot of success recently. In 2010, the senior girls soccer team ranked 5th in the city championships while the junior girls soccer team finished 4th in their city championships. The junior boys soccer team came in 3rd place. The senior girls volleyball team made it into the playoffs in 2010. In 2011, the junior boys and girls finished their basketball season without losing a game. Furthermore, four students made it into the all-star team by winning every game at the badminton championships.
Lord Strathcona Community Elementary School, the oldest school in Vancouver, offers a wide range of physical activities and sports such as basketball, softball, cross-country, track and field, flag football, volleyball, and soccer. Furthermore, Lord Strathcona has an intramural school hockey league that is played in the gym called the Strathcona Hockey League (SHL). The SHL has met with great success and nowadays encompasses all grades, including the primary grades and kindergarden.
Sir Sandford Fleming Elementary School is a part of School District 39 Vancouver. They compete against other schools mainly in volleyball, cross-country, and track and field. Their team’s name is The Fleming Train and their mascot is a train. One of Fleming’s alumni, Raman Nat, became the team captain of India’s national volleyball team.
Another public elementary school that is part of School District 39 Vancouver is named after Richard McBride, a British Columbian politician who is often considered to be the founder of the British Columbia Conservative Party. The school provides an abundance of physical activities and sports, including basketball, volleyball, and track and field. Their teams name is the McBride Eagles and their mascot is an eagle.
Located in the Riley Park community, General Wolfe School offers eight sports programs, including a junior and senior volleyball team, a junior and senior basketball team, floor hockey, badminton, and ultimate frisbee. Their mascot is a wolf and their team name is the Wolfe Wolves.
Hastings is a huge, complex, inner-city project school with strong parent support and involvement. Hastings Elementary School has successful basketball teams for grade 6 and 7. There are junior girls, senior girls, and senior boys. Furthermore they have a volleyball team and participate in other sports.
Lord Nelson Elementary is a public elementary school that is a part of School District 39 Vancouver. It participates in many sports such as basketball, cross country, track and field, badminton, and volleyball. Their team name is the Tigers.
Maple Grove is a public elementary school located in the Kerrisdale area of Vancouver. They offer an excellent sports program, including cross-country and volleyball teams. The school has approximately 500 students and 55 staff members, including classroom teachers, supervision aides, district instructors, support workers, and office and engineering staff.
J.W. Sexsmith Community School enrolls 359 students reflecting diverse multilingual and multicultural backgrounds. There are more than twenty different languages spoken in J.W. Sexsmith. It provides basketball, volleyball, badminton, cross-country, and track and field programs.
This elementary school located in the Marpole neighbourhood has successful teams who compete in sports, including senior and junior volleyball, basketball, cross-country running, track and field, and badminton. Their team name is the DLG Hornets and their latest sport success was when the senior boys basketball team won the city champions in the 2010-2011 winter season.
The mission of Admiral Seymour Elementary School is to create a healthy, safe, secure environment where students and staff strive for excellence, honour, and diversity and aspire to meet the challenges of the future. Their Grad of ’05 proved that they really mean to fulfill these goals and thanks to them Seymour became the only elementary school in Vancouver to win three championships (basketball, soccer, and flag football) in one year.
David Oppenheimer Elementary School provides a caring community that encourages each child to become a socially responsible, life-long learner. It is well known for its great athletic performance. The school sports teams are called the Orcas. As well as competing in various sports, the school offers a winter skating program and school-wide gymnastics and dance programs.