The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) recognizes that interschool athletics are an important part of the school experience of elementary students. For some students, interschool athletics provides the first opportunity to participate in organized sport competition. As recognized in the 2019 Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum, interschool programs offer students opportunities to participate in more organized and competitive activities (HPE Curriculum 2019, p.61) which support students’ physical and mental well-being. These experiences support students to express themselves, build their skills and talents, broaden their interests, and build a sense of belonging to the school community. All staff play a vital role in forming positive relationships and creating conditions where students feel valued, safe, accepted, and encouraged to participate to their greatest ability.
A variety of interschool sports will be offered; however, opportunities will vary across the DSBN. Student voice and staff volunteers contribute to the type and range of interschool athletics that are offered in any given school. Some sports will be centrally organized and supported by Curriculum Support Services, while others will be organized by Area-teacher volunteers. Area autonomy recognizes the importance of geographic and school community interests. Individual schools are encouraged to make school-based decisions regarding participation in interschool athletic activities. Schools will consider activities that allow a broad range of experiences to serve their diverse community and enhance the skills, talents, and interests of students. Existing barriers to participation within interschool athletics will be considered and removed to allow equitable access to opportunity, where possible.