Never Give Up!

In 2008, our school was involved in an Adopt An Athlete Program. We adopted Scott Dickens, a swimmer, who was almost considered guaranteed to receive a spot on the Olympic Team. Unfortunately, he missed qualifying by 12 one-thousands of a second. At that point, our school had raised more than $1,000 for him, so instead of stopping, we invited Scott back for a second assembly, with the message of, “never give up!” What is absolutely incredible about Scott is that he took this message to heart. He never did give up, and he trained harder than ever to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.

As someone that was at the school back in 2008 and still there today, I was almost overwhelmed with emotion when the Ancaster Meadow students welcomed Scott back to the school today. Andrew Baillie (@coachbaillie), one of our terrific phys-ed teachers, coordinated an incredible assembly today. With the two other awesome phys-ed teachers, Scott Wlodarczyk and Paula Mataseje, producing the signs, Jo-Ann Corbin-Harper collecting the flags, Bill Forrester taking photographs and meeting A/V needs, and Athletic Council decorating the gym and recording the videos, everybody was ready to celebrate today. The student body was a sea of red and white, all in support of Scott. Our students usually wear uniform tops, but today we had a Civvies Day, and the students paid a toonie or more, that was all part of our fundraising efforts for Scott Dickens.

All In Red And White Waiting For Scott To Arrive

Not only was our staff and students in the gym to welcome Scott today, but the local media was there too, along with representatives from the community, including high school students and teachers, and even a former swim coach and water polo coach. Ancaster High School even fundraised for the event, and presented Scott with a cheque for $2000. Wow!

Getting Autographs From Scott

Cheers of, “Go Scott, go,” could be heard throughout the assembly, as well as in the different video presentations that made today’s event so memorable. It was great to watch staff, students, and the community come together to support a fantastic athlete and a great person. The underlying message of, never give up, resonated throughout the hour-long assembly, and students left the gym today remembering the importance of this!

Scott Arriving

As Andrew Baillie knows, I’m the kind of person that likes routine. I like when students remain calm. These kinds of events are usually hard for me, as I find that changing the daily routine, often makes it difficult for many of the students. I was excited about today (hey, we’d get to see an Olympic athlete speak), but I also had my reservations. These concerns quickly disappeared though.

A Message For Scott From One Of My Students

Today was about more than curriculum. Today was about bringing together staff, students, and the community. Today was about character education. Today was about building relationships and making connections. Today was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the impact of a message and the value in high expectations. What a fantastic lesson for all of us!

Go, Scott, Go!

Go, Scott, go, and never give up! We’ll be watching and supporting you in London this summer!


4 thoughts on “Never Give Up!

    • Thanks for the comment and for sending me a photograph for the post as well! I’m so glad that you could be there today too. It was great to have so many people there cheering Scott on. What a fantastic sense of community!


  1. Great job Aviva! I too think this may have been an instrumental day for many students – giving them the hope and courage to follow their dreams. Thanks for documenting it.

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m so glad that Andrew arranged this assembly again this year. It really was an incredible day, and what was truly amazing, is that there was still a buzz in the school about what Scott discussed as students were packing up and getting ready for home. Scott really did make an impact on the students.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *