The fall 2022 edition of Never Give Up kicked off Tuesday afternoon with our first virtual presentation.
Inductee Arnold Boldt connected with three classes from Grades 5-8 from St. Augustine Community School in Regina to begin this latest five-week offering of this Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame educational program.
Never Give Up is an education program targeting at-risk students in Grades 4-8 which focuses on answering the question: what makes a person a “hero”? By discussing the concept of a hero, Never Give Up allows the students to understand that heroes are different for everyone and often they take the form of positive role models throughout each person’s community. Never Give Up is administered virtually and involves SSHF inductees who have overcome obstacles and hardships to achieve their own personal goals in sport and life. The students benefitting from this program represent a range of diverse life experiences and thus, so too do the presenters who currently include war refugees, amputees, and Paralympians.
This year the SSHF is happy to have inductee Ed Staniowski taking part for the first time. After spending parts of 10 seasons in the National Hockey League, Staniowski joined the Canadian Forces and reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Joining Staniowski are Boldt, Lisa Franks, and Colette Bourgonje who were among the presenters when Never Give Up was offered this past spring. In total 1,134 students took part in Never Give Up in the spring of 2022. These four presenters all have unique and engaging stories to share with students across the province. All 10 Never Give Up sessions have been filled this fall.
Never Give Up earned a pair of esteemed awards this past June. The SSHF was honoured with the Museums Association of Saskatchewan’s MAS Award of Merit – Institution (under $50,000.00) for 2022 for Never Give Up. The program was also honoured with the Canadian Association for Sport Heritage’s CASH Award of Excellence.
The SSHF is grateful to have sponsorship support from SaskTel in order to make this program possible.
Never Give Up began as a “one time only” program nine years ago.
Once again this spring, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is bringing our Never Give Up educational program to students and schools in the province.
Students tour the mobile exhibit trailer.
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.
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 or “heroes” who they can look up to within their own community. As such, the program was originally developed around Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Ted Jaleta, and his personal story of never giving up.
Ted Jaleta speaks to a school assembly as part of the Never Give Up program.
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. Jaleta was able to escape and flee the country, eventually settling in Canada.
Following an extremely successful debut, the Never Give Up program was developed into one that would be offered on a regular basis to locations throughout Saskatchewan. While the involvement of Ted Jaleta has been one of the hallmarks of the program, the involvement of other sports personalities from Saskatchewan has been essential to its success. All of these individuals have overcome obstacles and hardships and truly understand what it means to “never give up” and serve as positive role models. Past participants have included Fiona Smith-Bell (hockey), Heather Kuttai (Paralympian – shooting), Fred Sasakamoose (hockey), and Kia (Buyers) Schollar (canoe/kayak). 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.
Since 2011 Never Give Up has reached more than 18,000 students and been expanded to involve Grades 3-8. This year the SSHF’s mobile exhibit trailer is accompanying the Never Give Up program when it visits schools. This would not be possible without the support of our sponsors Hornoi Leasing and SaskTel.
The focus of the program is directed towards youth at risk and the formative years where the need for positive role models and the overcoming of adversity is paramount. What has never changed throughout our program delivery is the use of Saskatchewan sports personalities to engage the participants and share with them their personal stories about never giving up.