TRURO – Olivya Reyes didn’t have to look further than her community’s swim club to find inspiration for a heritage project.
The Bridgeway Academy student selected Truro Centurions swim club coach Miranda Elliott to feature, a person she calls a “hero.”
“I feel connected to her,” Olivia said, showing some of the many ribbons she has earned as a member of the club coached by Elliott.
“She inspires me to do better in swimming. She is just my hero and I look up to her a lot.”
The young student was among about 150 in grades four to nine to represent schools throughout the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (CCRSB) at the Truro campus of the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) on Friday at a regional heritage fair.
Olivya interviewed her coach to complete the project, learning things she hadn’t previous known.
“There were a couple things that I found really interesting,” she said. “When she first wanted to join swimming the coach didn’t want her to because she wasn’t fast enough. Then they discovered she was more of a long-distance swimmer.”
Truro Junior High School student Erin McCavour also completed a sport-themed project, sharing her passion for gymnastics by featuring the Cobequid Spartans, which she compiled in French.
“I’m there almost every day of the week,” she said of her personal commitment to the club.
McCavour said the most challenging part of completing her project, which included samples of medals and competition uniforms, was researching the history of the club, its members and past locations. She was able to glean information about past club members who participated in Canada Games and Olympics, a part of the project she found very interesting.
“I think it’s fun to show people what Cobequid Spartans is doing now and how well we’re doing at the gym and the history of it.”
Ken Henderson, fair organizer, said it is truly an educational experience for students, both in heritage and culture.
“The most obvious goal is an appreciation of Canadian heritage, Canadian Culture,” said Henderson.
The projects covered a wide range of topics, such as the Silver Dart, Canada’s first plane to take flight, and a more recent space adventure starring Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.
Sports celebrities, musicians, scientists, fashions and industries were all featured in student-created displays.
“Among the older kids you see a question of the narrative of history,” said Henderson.
Judges scrutinized the displays during the morning while workshops on heritage topics were offered to participants.
The fair opened with a Mi’kmaq smudging demonstration and culturally diverse musicians performed Acadian and Celtic songs in the afternoon.
Henderson said the fair celebrates Canadian heritage while serving as a catalyst for students to improve their knowledge of heritage and culture, along with literacy skills such as reading writing, researching and communicating.
He said the fair received a great deal of support from local museums, the school board and the NSCC, which provides the ideal location to host the event.
Students with top marks at the regional fair will move on to the provincial competition, which will be held in Halifax later this month.