When technology supports passions

Proud of her progress after intense training in Quebec last year, speed skater Courtney Charlong decided to do it again. However, he had one condition: he could finish high school as a student of the polyvalent Roland-Pépin.

Courtney Charlong is already back in her skating, hoping for a young New Brunswick fast skater. On Monday, he had no class due to a day off for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. However, he did not have a study leave.

He has been training on the ice for a week at the Gaétan Boucher Center in Quebec. It is the second time in as many years that a Campbellton athlete has gone overseas to qualify this way.

Last fall, when the pandemic was in full swing, the young Restigouchoz chose to leave the family nest to continue his progress in a specialized environment on the ice. The choice paid off. In addition to finishing at the top of the Canadian rankings in her age category, Courtney shined at the Canadian Junior Cup (top three).

However, distance is not always easy. At 15-16 next month – Courtney wanted to turn the odds in her favor to get in the mood. starting with his school environment.

Courtney Charlong (photo) has been training at the Gaétan Boucher Ice Center in Quebec since last year. Despite the distance, he remains a proud student at Roland-Pépin High School in Campbellton.

He could have continued his studies at the institution in the capital of Quebec, but preferred to stay with the polyvalent Roland-Pépin.

“During the years I spent in the New Brunswick school system, it was a shame to leave as soon as the end came,” says the student, who has just started Year 11.

“I want to live these last two school years with my friends and with him. He didn’t tell me to start from scratch with a new group with other people. And besides, the system in Quebec is different in terms of academic years. Therefore, it was easier and more profitable to continue with PRP,” he adds.

from the station

Leaving for Quebec City in mid-August, Courtney returned to Campbellton to experience the first week of school face-to-face, meet the teaching staff, and see friends again.

For a week in the capital, school is done via video conference and homework is uploaded to Teams software, two methods that students and teachers have had to learn during the last year’s COVID-19 outbreak (hybrid learning).

“My (skating) practices are mostly in the morning, so sometimes I miss lessons. I take mine later in the day or week. It’s not always easy to keep up, but teachers are flexible. I can attend classes, otherwise they call me to share their studies with me or write me assignments to be completed. I can count on them and my classmates if I ever need more explanations,” he emphasizes.

School support

In many ways Roland-Pépin, we don’t see this attention to Courtney as favor or accommodation, but more like support, support for her and her dream.

“We believe it is important to reach beyond academics in our educational mission to empower students to reach their full potential.” In this case, Courtney has specific goals in mind. It seemed natural for us to do everything we could to bring her along and make her task easier so she could also concentrate on skating,” explains PRP Acting Director Ginette Noël-Thériault, admitting that she was particularly excited about Courtney’s attachment. His school and his region.

“He was very keen to remain a PRP study and that is very worrying. It warms our hearts to know that it is important to him, as it is to us, to support him today. We are very proud of our champion, he is a very good role model for our students,” he said.

The legacy of the pandemic

According to Ms. Noel-Therriault, the remote experience has worked great so far. It must be said that during the last academic year he tried for several months. What’s more, this project probably wouldn’t have been possible without the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced schools to go virtual.

“When we say that the pandemic has not been bad, the availability of technology and learning is proof of that. It forced us to do things differently and gave us new tools. Nothing can replace face-to-face teaching, but in such situations we put what we have learned into practice,” he emphasizes, noting that the key to success is the student’s involvement.

“It’s not for every student. You have to be very committed to your education, have a heightened sense of responsibility and an exemplary work ethic,” says Ms. Noël-Therriault.

the need

But was training in Quebec really necessary?

According to the skater, this is a crucial stage for his sports development.

“At Restigushi, I had access to the ice for an hour every week. Here we usually train for 1:30 to 2 hours every day, six days a week. The difference is huge. Plus, I have access to really specialized coaches in the field and everything I need for off-ice training. So in short, if I wanted to continue skating and hope to improve, the choice was obvious,” he said.

In great shape at the moment, Courtney should be back in competition very soon, in two weeks to be exact.

Leave a Comment

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