2011 Scholarship Entry #164: Michael Gordulic

One of the toughest challenges facing our Canadian youth today is lack of physical activity. While we see young athletes in many sports pushing the limits of the human body to never before seen feats of speed, strength and endurance, there is a growing percentage of youth just watching these events happen. Ever-advancing technology is a strong reason for this trend as youth can consume their days with television, gaming consoles and many multimedia devices. Teachers need to inspire living an active lifestyle more than ever as society increases their reliance on technology.

As a student in school I loved Phys. Ed. class. It was a break from the rigors of a defined curriculum. However, as I progressed through to high school, more people increased their participation in areas other than the wellness. The teachers at Ardrossan Jr/Sr High School were great and were the ones who motivated me to be an assistant coach as well as play on their volleyball and basketball teams. I started by helping with one morning volleyball practice, and progressing to head coaching the Grade 8/9 volleyball team during my first year at Concordia University College of Alberta. The experience of teaching and guiding the boys through two full seasons was amazing. To see how being active, fit and involved developed the as individuals, not just athletes was the confirmation that I needed to continue with my goal of an education degree.

Being able to witness their growth first hand validated the quote from Allen Russell, 'Physical Education is the only subject, which by the very nature of its content has the potential to affect how a person will feel every moment of every day for the rest of his or her life'. As a future teacher, not only can I influence the students views of physical activity but also instill lifelong values in their character. This can come through competition and serve them throughout the rest of their life. Teamwork, commitment and perseverance are why 'people who work together will win whether it be against complex defences, or the problems of modern society' (Vince Lombardi). That is why it is up to teachers as a collective group to impact the future by insuring the next generation has strong character and values. Providing students with the tools to confront the problems of society, and being part of that rewarding process is what I plan to do with my career.