Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Heroes of Canadian Amateur Athletics
Canadians have made their mark in many non-professional sports. Canadian athletes have been World Champions, world-record holders, and medalists in both the Paralympic and Olympic games. These dedicated athletes train long hours for many years to compete against the rest of the world, often with very little financial support. Unlike professional athletes, for whom their sport is their job, amateur athletes must often work a regular, full-time job and train for competition on their own time and, more often than not, use their own money. Canadians can all be proud of these dedicated and passionate individuals.
Students will research the life and career of one successful Canadian amateur athlete and create a multi-media presentation about that person. Presentations can include pictures, text, audio, video, original artwork, and so on.
Students should begin their research at the topic Funding of Amateur Sports on the CBC Digital Archives website. Particularly helpful are the clips "Olympic dreams are slowly turning into a nightmare," "Brad McQuaig's cheque's in the mail," "The Sports Summit reports on the state of amateur athletics" and "A new era of funding programs for Canadian amateur athletes." From there, students will choose a successful Canadian amateur athlete to research. Students may use Internet resources and any other sources of information - such as books or video - that they find useful. Students should note all resources consulted and cited.
Have students deliver their presentations to the class. Students should be prepared to speak briefly about the life and career of their chosen athlete, and to ask and answer questions. After several presentations, engage students in a discussion of similarities and differences among the athletes profiled, changes in amateur athletics over time, and possibilities for amateur athletics in the future. Continue these discussions each time several presentations have been delivered.