Vic High french immersion teacher Jean Campbell arrived at the school five years ago to teach PE and coach the girls volleyball team. That year the team finished dead last in their division.
This year the team finished in first place.
The progress of the volleyball team is just one small indicator of the steps the school has been taking to promote sports at all levels.
In the 60’s and 70’s Vic High had been a sports powerhouse but over time that reputation had faded. This was compounded when the catchment rule, forcing kids to attend the school in their area, was lifted allowing them to choose their own school.
The result was they lost many athletes to schools with a reputation for their current sport teams.
Campbell, who says “we do a lot to promote Vic High’s athletics”, listed some of the ways the school is highlighting their sports activities.
The school schedules some league play during school hours and allows all students out of class to watch the games.
They hold Spirit Days where the teams will play teachers during the noon hour.
The Parents Advisory Council (PAC) has provided new uniforms and funded travel to out of town tournaments. This is important as “it helps our teams get better by playing stronger opponents” and “kids like to travel so the trips are a good way to bring them in”.
Physical education (PE) classes are an important part of the curriculum and include components that include ice skating at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
There is a strong Intramural program that operates during the lunch hour and indoor soccer games after school on Fridays.
Team members coach at Central Middle School, an outreach that passes along skills and highlights the school sports programs to kids who live right between Vic High and Oak Bay.
On January 7, as part of the school’s open house for Grade 8 students and their parents who want to check out the school, Campbell will have her volleyball team playing and available to answer questions about the schools athletic programs and activities.
Campbell does point out that school athletics are not just about competition, “Athletics allows kids to be part of a community and that community supports them even when other things aren’t great”.
Right now is high school basketball season and tonight both the boys and girls teams play starting at 5:30 Thursday, Dec. 18 at 7:15 is the last game before the Christmas break.