June 18th, 2021

Guest speakers bring passion and belief to St. Patrick’s Faith and Wellness Day

By LAUREN THOMSON Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on June 11, 2021.

Canadian Olympian Sage Watson, who grew up near Seven Persons, speaks to St. Patrick's School students about self-belief during Faith and Wellness Day.--SCREENSHOT

lthomson@medicinehatnews.com

St. Patrick’s Elementary School hosted its fourth Faith and Wellness Day on Tuesday, a day that helps staff and students focus on the various aspects of self-care and health.

“A big part of staying well is keeping your body well, keeping your mind well and keeping your spirit well,” said principal Dwayne Unreiner.

Due to COVID restrictions, the school had to host the day incorporating online components, and speakers used Google Meet and each class watched and participated in their respective classrooms.

“The key thing I hope the kids and the staff take out of this is a reminder of how when we work together, that builds our faith,” said Unreiner. “We talk about discipleship, we talk about serving others, we talk about evangelization and just spreading that good news of how we can be kind, how we can be generous and patient with one another, especially during this pandemic.”

Presenters included Melissa Schafer from Temple Fitness, Sandra Richard, a religious co-ordinator for the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education, community parish priest Father Iqbal, Shannon Emary of Yoga You4ia and Olympian Sage Watson.

Watson, who grew up on a cattle ranch near Seven Persons, is a full-time track athlete who will represent Team Canada at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this year in the 400 metre hurdle and 4×400-metre relay.

“The pandemic has definitely affected me, like it has affected everyone else, and all you can do is just go with the flow,” said Watson. “Don’t get too down when things get cancelled, just know what you can control personally and just have faith in it.”

Watson shared with classes how believing in herself and working hard helped her become who she is today and how to help them develop their own self belief.

“Self belief is a huge thing … Being proud of yourself for the things you accomplish and not comparing yourself to others,” said Watson. “Your success in your life is completely different from somebody else, so never try to compare yourself or your accomplishments to someone else. But self belief is a huge part of growing as a person and accomplishing the goals you guys want to accomplish. Self belief has been a big part of my journey. If you guys are struggling with self belief, I suggest finding someone, either a teacher, a coach, a mentor, a friend, someone who can help you believe in yourself.”

Unreiner also spoke about a visual reminder of faith and wellness the kids have made in their classrooms to display outside the school.

“At the front of our school … we pulled some weeds away and it looked a little bit bare,” Unreiner said. “So we put some gravel there that was donated by Inland Agregates – and thanks to them for that – and we’ve got 400 rocks that students have painted white with faith and wellness messages like love, friendship. That will all be ready by Friday, and it’s already bringing a lot of light to the welcoming presence of the school.”

“These kids deserve it. We’ve been in and out of school … they work so hard. They deserve some fun, they deserve to end the year with some really good memories.”

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