Close to 1600 grade five public and Catholic students took the annual Go Girl and Grow Boys events on Wednesday.
The girls took park in different activities and sports throughout the day at the Collicutt Centre.
Kelly Roslinsky, a P.E. teacher at Don Campbell Elementary and member of the Go Girl organizing committee, says the event is all about promoting a healthy lifestyle.
“We’re hoping they will find an activity they have never tried before and maybe it would be something they would continue to do,” she says. “Research has shown activity levels of girls this age seems to drop off. The idea is try to get them to find something new and then they might pursue it on their own.”
Roslinsky also noted the girls are grouped with kids from other schools, offering a chance to create new friendships.
Over at the G.H. Dawe Centre, grade five boys were participating in everything from judo to skateboarding.
Sean Grainger, who came up with the idea for Grow Boys eight years ago, says the initiative has seen positive results, as evidenced by older students who previously attended and now volunteer at the event.
“It’s all about an effort to create a sense of hope in young men so they can grow up to be healthy, well-adjusted, happy older men,” he says. “This conference is designed to introduce boys to the concept of HOPE, which is an acronym for health, opportunity, privilege and education. We’re looking at nurturing a sense of respect and understanding responsibility and the ability to be involved in healthy relationships.”
Grainger adds that it would be nice if the message of the event could extend beyond the one-day and create an ongoing discussion.
Go Girl and Grow Boys is an initiative of Red Deer Public Schools and Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools. Other partners include Red Deer College.
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