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School sports promotes mental health

Sunday, August, 10, 2014

A new Canadian study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health has found that adolescents who play team sports in grades 8 through 12 have less stress and better mental health as young adults.

Almost 850 students from 10 Canadian schools were surveyed in each grade during the five years of secondary school about their participation in school sports, such as basketball, soccer, track and field, wrestling, and gymnastics. Three years after graduation, participants were asked about how often they experienced depressive symptoms, the amount of stress in their lives, and how they rated their mental health on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent).

The results found that those who were involved in school sports had better scores on all three mental health assessments compared with those who did not play sports at all. Playing school sports during adolescent years was significantly linked to lower depression symptoms, lower perceived stress, and higher self-rated mental health in young adulthood.

"It is important that school administrators recognize the importance of sport participation and physical activity," said lead author Catherine M. Sabiston, Ph.D., of the University of Toronto. "The associations we have found show a long term impact. School sport from ages 12 to 17 protects those youth from poor mental health four years later."

23 to 40 percent of youth report feelings of depression and high stress, the researchers noted. Their research investigated whether school sport participation could offer some protection against this trend.

"There is surprisingly little known about school sport, so we can only speculate as to the unique effects, but we suspect it might be due to school sport providing adolescents with opportunities to bond with other students, feel connected to their school, interact with their peers and coaches, thus, really providing a social and active environment," she explained.

Original article published in Journal of Adolescent Health

OFSAA Alumni Scholarship Recipients 2014

Thursday, July, 31, 2014

Students in EOSSAA, ROPSSAA, and SOSSA schools applied for the Alumni scholarships this year. It is encouraging to know there are so many student-athletes in our high schools who are also involved in other aspects of school life, are active members of the community, and still maintain an excellent academic standing. Thanks to all the applicants, and all the best as you move on to a Canadian university in the fall - the decisions were difficult. The winners, pictured left to right, are Patrick Desjardins, Cassie Conboy, and Curtis Richards.

Patrick Desjardins
Throughout his years at ES Catholique Jean-Vanier in Welland, Patrick demonstrated that he was an excellent student and an exceptional athlete. He participated in almost every sport offered at the school - volleyball, basketball golf, hockey, badminton, tennis and soccer. He also directed his energy to serve on the student council, the athletic council (serving 2 years as president), and several charitable fundraisers.. Patrick assisted with the coaching of junior teams, and officiated feeder school tournaments. He felt that there was no greater sense of satisfaction than representing and competing for your school. School sport enabled him to connect with his peers, teachers, competitors and other members of the community on a whole different level. For Patrick, high school would not be complete without sports. All the best as you enter an exercise science program at university.

Cassie Conboy
Cassie, a student at Ernestown SS in Odessa, stayed active throughout high school taking part in volleyball, soccer, field hockey, badminton and softball. She contributed positively to other aspects of the school culture working with the fall leadership camp and the Grade 9 orientation program. Cassie’s eagerness, organizational skills, and easy way with peers ensured that anyone with whom she interacted was comfortable. In the community she volunteered at a pediatrician’s office, and refereed and scored for an adult volleyball league. School sport taught Cassie time management, teamwork, appreciation towards others, and gratitude for opportunities she would not have had if not for others such as coaches, officials and organizers. Cassie exemplifies OFSAA’s values of leadership, commitment, respect and equity, and we are sure she will have continued success as she studies medical science at university.

Curtis Richards
Curtis attended St. Aloysius Gonzaga SS in Mississauga. During his 4 years, he participated in football, volleyball, hockey, and track and field. As team captain he showed tremendous leadership in terms of his work ethic, responsibility, and ability, and earned the respect of his peers and coaches. Curtis was also involved in other areas of school life including several fundraisers, the house system, and the athletics club. In the community he volunteered as a boys’ soccer coach and at a hockey camp. He applied the skills he learned through sport to his academic studies also, and was on the honour roll throughout high school. To quote his coach, “ Curtis represents the ‘true ideals’ of a student-athlete”. We wish him well as he pursues a kinesiology program at university.

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In 2014-15 applications for the OFSAA Alumni Scholarships will be accepted from students in schools in TDSSAA, LOSSA, and WOSSAA. The form and the criteria can be found on the OFSAA website and must be submitted by mail or courier, and received at the OFSAA office by April 1, 2015.

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OFSAA Alumni Association
The Alumni Association is composed of retired teacher-coaches and former student-athletes, and provides them with an opportunity to stay in touch with their peers. The main goal is to provide scholarships annually for students from around the province that wish to pursue a post-secondary education in a Canadian institution. Members receive copies of the Bulletin and newsletters. An alumni golf tournament and BBQ are scheduled for Monday, September 22, 2014 in Toronto, so retirees are encouraged to join in the fun. An application can be found on the OFSAA website. Donations towards the Alumni Scholarships are welcomed from current and former teachers, and student graduates.

CFL and Nissan team up to support high school football

Thursday, July, 17, 2014

High school football teams are getting a boost onto the field next season with support from a new partnership called “Back in the Game” by the Canadian Football League and Nissan Canada.

The program will support school football teams with funding, equipment, playing field improvements, training materials, and support to 21 teams across Canada including eight in Ontario that have been identified as programs in need.

Ontario high schools selected are;

Clarkson Secondary School in Mississauga

Downsview Secondary School in Toronto

Newtonbrook Secondary School in Toronto

Bowmanville High School in Bowmanville

Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute in Scarborough

St. Catherine’s Collegiate in St. Catherine’s

Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School in Hamilton

And one more school TBA from Ottawa

Select teams will be featured in webisodes tracking the progress of the student-athletes throughout their campaign, that will lead up to a 30-minute documentary at the end of the season.

“Getting kids off the couch and playing sports is important for all Canadians. The lessons and social skills learned through sport and specifically football are invaluable to children and teenagers,” said Mark Cohon, Commissioner, Canadian Football League. “We can help revitalize football programs across the country where needed, and give those students the opportunity to get on the field, be a part of a team and have fun playing our great game.”

Additional funding for high school sports will help schools field a team that had struggled in the past, and provide opportunities for more students to participate if they had been restricted by cost before. Kudos to the “Back in the Game” program for providing this opportunity to student-athletes!

Free Online Concussion Courses for Coaches

Friday, July, 11, 2014

The Making Head Way eLearning Series are National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) Professional Development (PD) modules designed to help coaches gain the knowledge and skills required to ensure the safety of their athletes. 

Developed as part of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Active and Safe initiative with the involvement of medical experts, these eLearning modules are designed to help coaches reduce the incidence of brain injuries in team sports and to improve decision-making about when it is safe to return to play after a head injury. 

Concussions can occur while participating in any sport or recreational activity. Since the circumstances under which a concussion can be sustained are so varied, it’s important for all coaches, parents, and athletes to be aware of the signs, symptoms, and what to do if a concussion occurs.

This 60-90 minute training course has been made available free of charge on the coach.ca website with more sport specific modules to be offered for free at a later date. 

Coaches across Ontario are encouraged to take the courses and make high school sport a safer and more enjoyable place for our student-athletes.

Report Card from Active Healthy Kids Canada

Thursday, July, 10, 2014

Healthy Active Kids Canada has released their 2014 Report Card on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth.

This is the 10th annual assessment of the physical activity of children and youth in Canada, and for the first time the Report Card compares Canada's physical activity against 14 other countries.

See where Canada is leading and lagging by reading the short version of the 2014 Report Card, or have a more in-depth look at the research and methods behind the study with the long version of the Report Card.

Canada is among the leaders in our relatively sophisticated policies, places and programs, with a B+ in Community & the Built Environment, a C+ in School and a C+ in Organized Sport Participation.

Canada’s Overall Physical Activity levels, however, are at a D-, clustered near the back of the pack with Australia (D-), Ireland (D-), the United States (D-) and Scotland (F). Even though 84% of Canadian kids aged 3-4 are active enough to meet guidelines, this falls to only 7% of kids meeting guidelines at ages 5-11, and only 4% meeting guidelines at ages 12-17.

Find out more at the Healthy Active Kids Canada website.

OFSAA Spring Championship Results 2014

Thursday, July, 3, 2014

OFSAA's spring championship season took place June 2-7 with 17 championships across Ontario.

Student-athletes across the province showed their best talent, skill, character, leadership and commitment through competition.

Best of luck to students with final exams and the very best to those graduating and moving on!



High School results

Open results


Boys' A/AA results

Boys' AAA/AAAA results


Girls' A/AA results

Girls' AAA/AAAA results

Boys' A/AA results

Boys' AAA/AAAA results

Track & Field

Windsor Timing results


Boys' A results

Boys' AA results

Boys' AAA results

Boys' AAAA results

Girls' A results

Girls' AA results

Girls' AAA results

Girls' AAAA results


Regional finals results

OFSAA Try Day 2014-15

Friday, June, 27, 2014

Funding of the OFSAA Try Day program for this school year has been approved. The Try Day grant this year is provided by the Ministry of Education, Government of Ontario. 93 publicly-funded schools may receive up to $700 to introduce a new sport or physical activity to their current programAs a new component to the grant, schools must include students in the planning and implementation of the program. Try Day programs must be completed by March 31st, 2015. Read the following criteria for Try Day funding and submit your application form online. Take this opportunity to enhance your physical activity and athletic programs with new and exciting activities for students in all gradesGet your application in quickly!

Click this link for more details and registration form

2014-15 Transfer Appeal Dates

Thursday, June, 19, 2014

To appeal to an Association, please call the OFSAA office and give the name of the student and school as well as the name of the principal. Please see the deadline dates posted below.

A letter will be sent to the student, c/o the principal, stating the date, time and location of the appeal hearing. The letter will outline what information the student must provide prior to the meeting date.

Meeting Date Deadline for Applications
Thurs., Oct. 2, 2014 Mon., Sept. 22, 2014
Fri., Oct. 31, 2014 Thurs., Oct. 16, 2014
Tues., Dec. 9, 2014 Mon., Nov. 24, 2014
Thurs., Feb. 19, 2015 Wed., Feb. 4, 2015
Thurs., Apr. 23, 2015 Wed., Apr. 8, 2015

Temporary OFSAA position available

Tuesday, June, 17, 2014

OFSAA is seeking an interim Assistant Director to fill in as a sick leave replacement from August 2014 until approximately February 2015.

The Assistant Director plays an integral role in the management and delivery of the Federation’s programs.  Working closely with volunteer councils and committees he/she ensures high quality programs are developed and implemented that respond to the needs of students, teacher-coaches, schools, and eighteen member athletic associations.

Interested applicants are asked to submit a resume and cover letter via email by June 26 to:

Beth Hubbard - beth@ofsaa.on.ca

More information on principal duties and qualifications required listed here - AD leave job posting


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