Two school boards drop high jump

The Canadian Press

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont.–They’ve been training for it, but students at elementary schools in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. won’t get a chance to show off their high-jumping abilities at track-and-field meets this week and next.
The Algoma District School Board and Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board said they’ve decided to no longer offer high jump at the elementary level of competition due to the risk factor.
The school boards note high jump has been classified as a “higher risk activity” through the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines, due to the potential risk of injury to students.
In a joint release yesterday, the school boards say they are committed to supporting athletic opportunities and physical activity while maintaining student safety as a priority.
They say high jump will continue to be an event at the secondary level.
“It was felt that the changed classification, and the need to maintain student safety as a priority, means this event is best-suited for development at the secondary level, where there is greater access to trained staff and proper equipment at sites,” the statement said.
“We felt it best to maintain high jump at the secondary level, and to have our younger students compete in events that are most appropriate for their stage of development and which can showcase their abilities with less risk involved,” Algoma District School Board director Lucia Reece noted.
John Stadnyk, education director for the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board, said they decided that mitigating the risk to elementary students was the best action to take at this time.
“We hope everyone understands the reasoning behind this decision, and wish all participants in the upcoming meets all the best,” he said.
Wrestling, alpine skiing, and snowboarding are other sports classified as “higher risk” under the Ontario physical education guidelines.