• Myrna Driedger

Athletics in our schools

Article published in The Metro

Oak Park High School recently won the provincial basketball championship – not just once, but twice! Oak Park became just the second school to sweep both Boys and Girls AAAA basketball championships in the 48 years they’ve been contested. This is quite an accomplishment and has only ever been done once before by a high school over forty years ago.

Oak Park High School has one of the best athletic programs in the province. As a regular contender in many sports, Oak Park has made their mark on the sport community. The school offers an extensive list of extracurricular activities, including: basketball, darts, football, hockey, soccer (indoor and outdoor), volleyball, rugby, cheerleading, ultimate frisbee, water polo, track & field, badminton, dance, curling and field lacrosse. But the basketball program is particularly good, at both the varsity and junior varsity level. Over the past several years, all four teams ranked in the Manitoba High School Athletic Association top ten. The Oak Park Boys Varsity team has won 5 provincial championships since 2007.

Oak Park’s motto is “Committed to Excellence in Academics, Arts, Athletics and Community Service”. Their philosophy is that sport acts as a tool to enhance an individual’s physical, emotional, social and mental well being. Sports teaches many life skills as well as training students as athletes. It fosters the ability to work together as a team, goal setting, time management, and how to handle pressure.

The success of Oak Park’s athletics program has also seen many former students go on to succeed in professional sports such as football players Andrew Harris (Winnipeg Blue Bombers), Nic Demski, and Sean Jamieson; NHL players Calvin Pickard, Cam Barker, and Cody Eakin; curler David Nedohin. Many former Oak Park Athletes have also returned to the school to coach. I think this shows the level of dedication that former students feel to their “Alma Mater”.

Charleswood is proud of, not only the student athletes who achieved this lofty goal of a double crown, but also of the teachers and volunteers who commit so much time to all extra-curricular activities. We are appreciative of all the work that they do to shape and influence the youth of Charleswood. Their goal is to ensure that the student athlete reaches their potential, not only as a students and athlete, but also as a citizen of the school.

Congratulations to coaches Murray Brown & Jon Lundgren and all Oak Park Raiders! Your determination and discipline helped achieve the ultimate in high school sports. You have once again made us proud!


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