CameronHelps had a chance to talk to Rein Tammemagi about his Team Unbreakable coaching work at his school, YMCA Academy in Toronto.
“We’re a small high school of only 70 students, that has grown from about 40, over the last few years. We typically cater to students with special needs and learning style differences. We do our best to create a fun, welcoming and positive environment for students that may not have had very enjoyable experiences elsewhere. As a teacher here, I feel truly fortunate to be a part of this community. I get to be myself at this school, and this helps me to make some positive impacts on my students’ lives.”
“I’ve been a teacher here for 4 years now, after having volunteered for years. I’ve been fortunate enough to have taught a wide variety of courses here, including Science, Math, Co-op, Environmental Science, and Green Industries. The courses I’m now teaching regularly are Food and Nutrition and Healthy Active Living (Phys. Ed.), both subjects I have a strong interest in.”
“I’ve been running all my life. At a young age, I competed in Track and Field in Junior School, and Cross Country in Middle school. My dad and I also started competing in fun runs/races of 5km, 8km and 10km. He used to be able to beat me, but that didn’t last too long. I think running is crucial to mental health. While I’ve always enjoyed running, it wasn’t until University that I truly understood how important fitness and exercise were for me and emotional well being. I emphasize this to my students, and model it for them at every opportunity I get. Nils reached out to us in October, and we’ve been running during Phys. Ed. every Monday since. We also have an after school running group on Thursdays. ”
“Our highlight, so far, has been in our participation in the Bold and Cold 5km, in December, when 7 students and 3 teachers ran in the brisk and windy conditions. Convincing youth that regular exercise is one of the best ways to help them cope with all the issues that come with being a teen is a tough sell. ” ”
“Having a Team Unbreakable Running Club at our school helps to motivate them, and having solid role models like Nils helps overcome that challenge, and promotes healthy habits that can benefit youth into adulthood and beyond.”