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Members of the SLC at Clive Draycott are helping to plan the wheelchair rugby tournament. 

Members of the SLC at Clive Draycott are helping to plan the wheelchair rugby tournament. 

Kids are making a difference

Article: Tanner Aulie – Contributor

The Grade 7/8 students at Clive Draycott School in Bethune are proving anyone can make a difference and everyone deserves a voice, and they have been heard,
After attending the We Day celebration in Saskatoon on Nov. 6, the students are doing their part to address a global issue. They will be putting together a wheelchair rugby tournament next year and all of the proceeds will go to the Eric Walter’s Orphanage in Kenya.

We Day is an educational event and youth empowerment movement that tries to encourage a generation to shift their focus from “me” to “we”. There were 15,000 kids in attendance this year, and as 7/8 student, Katie Hunter says, “It was so energetic, like you could feel the energy in the room”. Pyper McGowan, also a student, adds “It made me want to get involved.”
Linda Whitteron, a teacher at the school, was with the students at We Day, and is helping to organize the tournament. In attendance at We Day were several celebrities including Magic Johnson, as well as Martin Luther King III (Martin Luther King Jr.’s son). Whitteron says “he was my highlight… I just got goosebumps”. She hopes this experience teaches them empathy, “Because [some kids] don’t understand that not everybody gets to grow up in a great little town like Bethune.”

The message of empathy has resonated with the children at the school. Andy Koch, another student, says it made him think about “[his] troubles and then less fortunate people’s troubles. They are in way harder situations than we are most times.”
The students have also been renting out a wheelchair for other students to use for $5 a day, in order to raise money, as well as to advertise the tournament.
The rules are: you must stay in the wheelchair all day, you can’t stand up unless you are going to the bathroom, and you can’t use your legs. Koch spent the day in the wheelchair on Monday and it has changed the way he views people with disabilities. He says “It makes me respect them more because everyday things that we normally do is hard.”

Also, in relation to the tournament, Bethune students hosted a food drive for Carmichael Outreach Centre from Nov. 18 until Nov. 21. A specific date for the tournament has not been named yet.

Image: Tanner Aulie

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