Never Give Up returns with new fall offering

When Never Give Up debuted in 2011, the program targeted students in Grades 3-5 in support of the Saskatchewan Social Studies curriculum based on the objectives of community, our province, and heroes.

The program sought to answer the question: what makes a person a “hero”? When talking about the concept of a hero, the program strove to make the students understand that there are positive role models that could be heroes in our schools, at home, and in the community and that heroes are different for everyone. The program also recognized the special contributions that the presenters have made to Saskatchewan athletics and our society.

Following an extremely successful debut, the Never Give Up program was developed into one that would be offered regularly in locations throughout Saskatchewan. While the involvement of Ted Jaleta has been a hallmark of the program, the involvement of other sports figures from Saskatchewan has been essential to its success. Other past participants have included Fiona Smith-Bell (hockey), Heather Kuttai (Paralympian – shooting), Fred Sasakamoose (hockey), and Kia (Byers) Schollar (canoe/kayak). All of these individuals are positive role models. They have overcome obstacles and hardships and truly understand what it means to “never give up.” Saskatchewan is a diverse province and this diversity is well represented within the student population. With this in mind, we have always looked to choose presenters who can speak to and represent these diversities and have reached more than 18,000 students since Never Give Up began.

COVID-19 has required Never Give Up be presented virtually in 2021 to Grades 4-8 in schools throughout Saskatchewan. The fall program will focus on various subject areas in the Grades 4-8 Saskatchewan Curriculum dealing with identity and showcase how sport contributes to the identity of self and others. It will also highlight our feature inductees who have made significant contributions to self and society.

Elementary school students are at an extremely impressionable age. They are entering a point in their lives where they act, think and feel on their own while developing impressions of themselves and those around them. It is important that they are provided with positive people who they can look up to within their own community.

This fall we welcome the following presenters:

  • Ted Jaleta – Jaleta’s promising distance running career was put on hold in his native Ethiopia after he was shot, imprisoned and tortured during the Ethiopian Civil War in 1976. Ted was able to escape and flee the country, eventually settling in Canada.
  • Lisa Franks – After a medical condition left her paralyzed, Franks didn’t turn away from the world upset about her fate. Instead, Lisa turned to wheelchair sports and became a decorated Paralympian.
  • Colette Bourgonje – After being injured in a car accident in high school, Bourgonje has trained her way to become one of the few Canadians to participate in both a winter and summer Paralympic Games.
  • Arnold Boldt – Boldt lost most of his leg in a farm accident at the young age of 3 and went on to win seven gold medals in the Paralympic Games in the high jump and long jump. Twenty years later Arnold participated in the 2012 Paralympic Games in the sport of para-cycling.

Schools may register for one presentation during the fall session whether it involve a single classroom or all classrooms Grade 4-8. Presentation dates are awarded on a first come basis. You will be advised one week prior to the presentation which amazing inductee you will meet!