Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by John Tonin

PUMPING IRON – Minister of Education Tracy-Anne McPhee demonstrates her weight lifting form at the new F.H. Collins weight lifting and exercise facility on Thursday.

New F.H. $1.3M weight lifting facility complete

F.H. Collins Secondary School students will get to enjoy a new weight lifting and exercise facility which features competition grade equipment.

By John Tonin on April 5, 2019

F.H. Collins Secondary School students will get to enjoy a new weight lifting and exercise facility which features competition grade equipment. Minister of Education Tracy-Anne McPhee announced the opening of the new athletic facility on Thursday.

The new facility is intended to help students learn more broadly about fundamental movement skills and overall physical development - a focus of the school’s sports program.

“Physical activity is an important part of living a healthy life, including how students think and feel and their capacity to learn at school,” said McPhee in a press release. “This new facility will enhance F.H. Collins’s excellent sports programming and support new learning opportunities for all students. We are committed to providing Yukon students with modern learning spaces to enhance their learning and opportunities to succeed at school and in their lives.”

The one-storey 246-square metre (2647-square foot) building sits a short walk behind the school. It has space for 27 students.

The existing fitness room at the school will continue to be available. The new space will be focused on learning opportunities for students interested in sports programming, physical development, and health and well-being.

Whitehorse Olympian, and former F.H. Collins student, Jeane Lassen said hopefully the new facility will be named after the late Jamie Shaw.

“The weight room is much than a place for F.H. Collins students, present and future to become faster, stronger and more agile,” said Lassen in her speech. “It is also a place to connect with others and will hopefully soon be named the Jamie Shaw High Performance Centre.

“He put all of his heart into everything he did, and there is no doubt without his tremendous enthusiasm the sports school program would not have gotten to where it is today.”

The sports program emphasizes mastering fundamental movement skills and overall physical development in students, whether they already consider themselves athletes or whether they are simply interested in enhancing their physical fitness.

Grade 11 student, Liam Russell, spoke about his experiences in the old weight room and looked forward to using the new facility.

“This is a lot more spacious, the other one was definitely cramped,” said Russell. “You would go from one platform to the other and you would have to squeeze between the weights and like five other people, this one is definitely nicer.”

Grade 12 student, Fionnuala Marion, helps coach in the weight room. She said all of the programming will be able to take place in the new facility. She hopes it draws new students to the weight room.

“I really hope so, they don’t have to go into that dingy stinky weight room anymore,” said Marion. “Now we have this awesome new space so I definitely hope it attracts more kids from our school and across the Yukon.”

Superintendent for F.H., David Wipf said it is an important facility for the school to encourage lifelong learners.

“It is a highly meaningful thing because it fills a niche for the school,” said Wipf. “This is a facility that is open to all students, regardless if you are a high-performance athlete or not. What we want are students who are going to be lifelong learners and active lifelong learners.

“We know that across Canada there is concern about fitness levels and health and wellness. This is an opportunity for students to learn those very important lifelong skills about fitness.”

As the formalities of the afternoon came to an end students in the sports school program demonstrated their weight lifting techniques to the crowd. Marion even taught McPhee how to properly lift while a crowd looked on.

Be the first to comment

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.