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CAAWS 2012 Stacey Levitt Women & Sport Scholarship

Tuesday, May, 22, 2012

CAAWS is still accepting applications for the 2012 Stacey Levitt Women and Sport Scholarship. The scholarship, valued at $2,500, is awarded annually to a young woman, a girls' team, or a sport organization that exemplify Stacey's ideals and qualities. The scholarship is distributed among five recipients, and each will receive $500.

High school, university and collegiate level women are encouraged to apply. Consideration will be given to the financial needs of the applicant. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2012. The 2012 Stacey Levitt Women and Sport Scholarship recipients will be announced in August 2012.

For more information, please visit http://www.caaws.ca/e/grants/levitt/.

Fun Times at the OFSAA Women's Sport School

Monday, May, 7, 2012

From Thursday to Friday, May 3 - 4, nearly 100 female high school teachers, coaches, and athletic directors attended the 2012 OFSAA Women’s Sport School conference at Brock University in St. Catharines.

Over the course of the two-day event, participants had the opportunity to attend teaching sessions led by experienced professionals. The sessions included Zumba, floorball, badminton, yoga, bullying and sensitive issues, low-organized games, TRX training, body weight foundations, battling ropes, mental health, basketball, volleyball, and many others. The interactive sessions united phys-ed teachers across the province and allowed participants to ask questions, network, and discover new/unconventional sports and teaching methods to pass on to their students.

During the conference, OFSAA hosted a tradeshow, which gave sponsors the opportunity to display and sell programs, products and services, while interacting with conference participants. There were a wide variety of booths to visit, as well as many prizes to be won.

Following the tradeshow, a social was held for all conference attendees, which had the ladies mingling, dancing and doing the limbo.

OFSAA would like to thank all organizers, presenters, participants, and tradeshow vendors for making the 2012 Women’s Sport School so much fun and such a great success!

Thank you also to our supporters: Investors Group, Coaching Association of Canada, Marchants School Sport, CAAWS, and Westmont Hospitality Group.

Keep checking our website for information on the 2013 co-ed Coaching Symposium.

Click here to view all the photos!

OFSAA Volunteer and Sponsor Recognized at Ontario Sport Awards

Thursday, April, 26, 2012

Congratulations to OFSAA teacher-coach Sue Thompson, as well as the Toronto Blue Jays, both nominated by OFSAA to receive Ontario Sport Awards, presented by the Sport Alliance of Ontario in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Sue Thompson from University of Toronto Schools was was the recipient of the Syl Apps Volunteer Achievement Award, given for her outstanding service to OFSAA and school sport. She has been a representative from the TDSSAA on the OFSAA Representatives Council for the past 12 years, and also served for the past five as the Metro regional representative on the OFSAA Executive Council. Sue is chair of the OFSAA Coaching Committee, and a master learning facilitator for the Coaching In Ontario Schools origram, which assists schools with the training of coaches.

Throughout her career, Sue has coached basketball, volleyball, soccer, cross country, track and field, and swimming.

The Toronto Blue Jays received the Corporate Citation Award for their service to OFSAA over the years. The Jays have supported high school baseball in Ontario by sponsoring the annual OFSAA Baseball Championship. They also award the Prentice Cup, which is given to the OFSAA champions and named after former Blue Jay scout Bob Prentice.

The Jays graciously donate the use of the Rogers Centre for the semi-finals and finals, and recognize the championship team by introducing them on the field prior to a Jays game.

Congratulations and thank you to both Sue and the Blue Jays!

Two OFSAA Teacher-Coaches Receive CAO Award

Tuesday, April, 17, 2012

Congratulations to Sheila Siermanchesky from Temiskaming District Secondary School in New Liskeard and Bruce Dyce from Port Credit Secondary School in Mississauga, recipients of the CAO's Coaching Excellence Awards in the School Sport Coach category.

The Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards celebrate the dedication and commitment of exemplary coaches who inspire, innovate and share knowledge of sport with others. They recognize the importance of leadership, performance, and the value of human insight; all integral to great coaching. The school sport coach recipients were selected by OFSAA based on their unique contribution to sport through continuous development. The award recognizes the contributions over a period of years.

Sheila Siermachesky has been teaching for 22 years, and has been the physical education department head for six years at Temiskaming DSS. She oversees all tournaments and athletic events run at the school. Sheila helps new teacher-coaches succeed by simplifying all of the necessary steps, logistics, and paperwork to take a team to a competition or tournament. She dedicates so much of her time to the school, and does everything she can to keep high school athletics streamlined and fun. Sheila is also creative in getting the entire school actively participating in physical education. She organizes the Terry Fox Run and several intramural activities throughout the year. Please click here to view a video on Sheila.

Bruce Dyce is in his 36th year of teaching at Port Credit Secondary School, and has been a coach for the entire duration of his teaching career. Bruce concentrates on each athlete individually, and makes an effort to help younger athletes find their niche. Education through school sport and sportsmanship is paramount to Bruce's coaching philosophy. He is a member of the OFSAA Representatives' Council for ROPSSAA, as well as the Golden Horseshoe football organizer, a track and field meet convenor, and a recipient of the prestigious Pete Beach Award. Please click here to view a video on Bruce.

We are proud to recognize Bruce and Sheila for this award!

Congratulations to Carly Steer and Brett Sontag, OFSAA Character Athletes

Tuesday, March, 27, 2012

Congratulations to Carly Steer from Holy Names Catholic High School and Brett Sontag from Gravenhurst High School, chosen to be the female and male recipients of the OFSAA Character Athlete Award this winter.

Carly Steer was nominated by her coach Jackie Lopez, who says Carly has accomplished so much athletically at such a young age, and is one of the most hardworking and dedicated students she has taught.

Carly has played on her school's senior girls' basketball team since Grade 9, as well as the volleyball team and track events. She has coached the Windsor Valients basketball house league, helped out at her local elementary school, and volunteered in various other capacities in her community.

"Carly is a quiet leader who always looks to help others in any way possible," said Carly's coach Jackie. "She is extremely humble and is a wonderful example of out school motto: allis non sibi, for others not oneself."

OFSAA's male character athlete Brett Sontag was nominated by his coach Stephanie Walker, who says Brett always shows respect for other athletes, and praises fellow competitors for a good play, whether they are on his team or not. At his school, Brett participates in golf, curling, volleyball, hockey, badminton, and track and field.

He is also a member of his school's performing arts club, the Gravenhurst HS "Star-Project", and vounteers to help coach the girls' hockey team.

"Brett it easy to talk to, and often makes friends during competitions," said Brett's coach Stephanie. "He is very respectful of his peers and coaches, and is very dedicated to sport in our school."

Check out an article about Brett and the Character Athlete Award here.

Congratulations to both Brett and Carly! They will both receive a commemorative plaque from OFSAA celebrating their accomplishment.

The Character Athlete Award is given to students who embody OFSAA’s values of leadership, commitment, equity, respect and sportsmanship.
If you wish to nominate a student-athlete for the Character Athlete Award, please visit our Awards section and fill out the application form.

Schools Announced for Nike Grand Prix

Friday, March, 23, 2012

Congratulations to the two schools who will each be sending one team to the Nike High School Grand Prix presented by School Sport Canada.

A girls' track team from JF Ross (Guelph), and boys' team from Lycee Claudel (Ottawa) will be joining schools from across the country on May 10-13 at the event in Toronto, which is an opportunity for Canadian student-athletes to gather together in a cultural, educational, and competitive forum.

Please click here for more details on the event. We thank all schools for applying!

OFSAA Winter Championships/Festivals

Monday, February, 13, 2012

OFSAA has many upcoming events this winter! For more information, click on the championship name below to be taken to the website.



Nordic Skiing
Thursday - Friday, February 23 - 24
 Alpine Skiing Monday - Tuesday, February 27 - 28
Blue Mountain, Collingwood
Snowboarding (Festival) Thursday, March 1
Swimming Tuesday - Wednesday, March 6 - 7
Wrestling Tuesday - Wednesday, March 6 - 7
Boys' A Basketball
Monday - Wednesday, March 5 - 7
St. Catharines
Boys' AA Basketball Monday - Wednesday, March 5 - 7
St. Catharines
Boys' AAA Basketball Monday - Wednesday, March 5 - 7
Boys' AAAA Basketball Monday - Wednesday, March 5 - 7
Girls' A Volleyball Monday - Wednesday, March 5 - 7
Girls' AA Volleyball Monday - Wednesday, March 5 - 7
Girls' AAA Volleyball
Tuesday - Wednesday, March 6 - 7
Girls' AAAA Volleyball Tuesday - Wednesday, March 6 - 7
 Girls' A/AA Hockey Tuesday - Friday, March 20 - 23
 Girls' AAA/AAAA Hockey Tuesday - Friday, March 20 - 23
 Boys' A/AA Hockey Wednesday - Saturday, March 21 - 24
Boys' AAA/AAAA Hockey Wednesday - Saturday, March 21 - 24
Wednesday - Saturday, March 21 - 24
Welland/St. Catharines/Niagara Falls

OFSAA Swimming Championship Venue Change

Friday, February, 10, 2012

Please be advised, the 2012 OFSAA Swimming Championship has been moved from the Etobicoke Olympium to the Milton Sports Centre in Milton. The championship will still take place from March 6 - 7.

Over the past month, OFSAA and Swimming Convenor/SAC Chair Kevin Wong have been monitoring the labour negotiations between the City of Toronto and the labour unions that affect the operation of many services and facilities in Toronto, including the Etobicoke Olympium. As a preventative measure, and to ensure that the 2012 OFSAA Swimming Championship will take place according to schedule, OFSAA has decided to move the championship to Milton.

You may read the official memo here.

Click here to view the Swimming Championship website.

Fear Factor: The "G" Word

Friday, January, 27, 2012
By Lynne Smiley

Why is it that one simple word can illicit such fear in the hearts and minds of school administrators and teachers everywhere? You know, the “G” word – Gymnastics. If I called it “fitness” would that help relieve your racing heart palpitations?

Historically, gymnastics has formed the core of physical education programs throughout the world. Its foundation is based on physical training principles through the learning of fitness and movement fundamentals (balance, locomotion, rotation, springing, swinging, and landing), with or without, or on an apparatus. The training for greater fitness development in endurance, strength, power, flexibility, agility, speed and co-ordination, is the key to successful learning of any sport specific skills, not just gymnastics skills.

It is so important to our youth that schools, administrators, teachers, coaches and teacher advisors can offer a variety of activities for students by providing healthy, active lifestyles through sport, while providing safe environments for their participation in sport. With this in mind, let me take some of the fear out of the “G” word by providing information about the sanctioned OFSAA Sport of Girls’ Gymnastics.

In OFSAA Girls’ Gymnastics there are 6 competitive levels. Levels 1 to 3 are beginner levels for girls with little or no experience in gymnastics other than what they have learned in their school programs. Levels 4 to 6 accommodates the athletes who have club or competitive experience. This is a high school sport for girls, and the rules are designed to embrace the inexperienced and experienced athlete, yet is not exclusive to nor dominated by club trained gymnasts. Although many school teams may utilize gymnastics clubs (teacher advisor/teacher coach must be in attendance) to train in a safe environment where equipment apparatus is available, OFSAA Technical Rules mandate that a minimum of one practice a week must take place within their school which could be conditioning practice or working on choreography.

Gymnastics is uniquely different than any other of the team or individual sports offered to high school girls due to the artistic and creative nature of the sport, as well as the athletic skills involved. Besides Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, which is comprised of Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam and Floor Exercise, Aerobic Gymnastics is also part of OFSAA Girls Gymnastics. There’s that “G” word again.  If I called it “Sport Aerobics” would you start breathing again?

What is Aerobic Gymnastics?

Aerobic Gymnastics is another exciting and dynamic discipline of the sport of gymnastics. Its popularity is world-wide with programs operating from recreational (Aero-Gym), school-based programs to OFSAA, Provincial, National, and International competitive programs. Aerobic Dance (which allows more dance content) is the newest event category to debut on the world stage. Recreation or school-based programs call it Gym Dance.  
Aerobic Gymnastics is a creative combination of aerobic and dance choreography with fitness difficulty elements such as pushups, holds, jumps/leaps and turns. No tumbling is allowed although forward, back, and side rolls may be used for changing levels. It involves high-energy/cardio routines that maximize development of core strength, flexibility and power and is performed in a 12x12 floor area/space (a matted –spring floor is not required). In group routines, lifts are required; however, unlike cheerleading, propulsion on lifts is prohibited. 

OFSAA  Aerobic Gymnastics (aka Sports Aerobics)

Aerobic Gymnastics is a team competition. A team may be comprised of 4, 5 or 6 competitors. There are two competitive OFSAA Aerobic Gymnastics (Sports Aerobics) categories.

Open: This category may consist of teams from schools competing in artistic gymnastics or may be teams from schools that do not have or compete in the artistic gymnastics program.

Novice: All team members must be competing in Artistic Gymnastics Levels 1 – 3.  Each member of a school’s Novice Aerobic Gymnastics’ team must have competed as a member of the school’s artistic gymnastics team in at least one artistic gymnastics competition during the current competitive season. Members of the school’s aerobic gymnastics team do not have to qualify for an OFSAA artistic gymnastics event to qualify for the OFSAA aerobic gymnastics team.

Aerobic Gymnastics is an activity that can provide enhancement to existing fitness, dance or gymnastics programs in the curriculum; as well as offering the opportunity for high school competition in the sanctioned OFSAA Sport of Girls Gymnastics. To see the sport in action, check out the video clip from the OFSAA 2010 Provincial Championship

No need to fear the “G” word any longer. Please contact your local Athletic Association for information on your Association entry process to attend the OFSAA Gymnastics Championship.

Resources Available to You
  • To learn more about the school-based gymnastics’ programs, workshop sessions are being offered at the OFSAA Women’s Sport School in May 2012.
  • For information on Aerobic Gymnastics please contact Lynne Smiley at 905-648-1662 or email bsmiley25@cogeco.ca.
  • If you would like to know about coaching courses available please visit Gymnastics Ontario website- www.ogf.com, call 416-426-7096 or email yuliana@ogf.com.
  • The Technical Rules & Playing Regulations are located on the OFSAA website here.

Lynne Smiley is a retired teacher and former member of the OFSAA Gymnastics Sport Advisory Committee.


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