| Jun 21, 2007

Feature Article - June 21, 2007

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Feature Article - June 21, 2007

4th annual G.A.L.S conference

by Amelia Redmond Energy was high and attitudes were positive this past Friday at the fourth annual G.A.L.S. Conference. The conference, held at the Royal Military College, is designed to help promote an active lifestyle for girls in grades 6, 7 and 8.

It includes workshops on subjects such as nutrition, body image and healthy friendships that help girls to develop healthy attitudes. The conference also offers workshops in many, many different kinds of sports, including; rugby, tennis, basketball, yoga, dance, ultimate Frisbee, paddling, and soccer.


This year, G.A.L.S. had its highest attendance yet, with about 450 girls from 11 different schools across the Limestone District School Board. Keynote speakers Jenna and Natalie Lambert opened the conference with the inspiring story of Jenna’s Lambert’s marathon swim across Lake Ontario last summer, setting the atmosphere for a great day to come. After a few welcoming speeches by staff from the Limestone District School Board and some of the organizers of the conference, the immense crowd of girls in matching lime green t-shirts headed to their different activities.

I couldn’t help but notice that everyone was surprisingly enthusiastic, and that the vibe was very confident and upbeat as we were assembled into groups of around 12, with members from almost every school represented. This gave girls an opportunity to work together, co-operate and above all, create new friendships and links between girls from all over the area.

Since its introduction in 2004, the Girls Active Living and Sports Conference has been organized and run by several grade 6, 7 and 8 girls from Loughborough Public School. Each year, these girls begin organization months ahead of time, preparing everything from t-shirts and poster design to media coverage and sponsors for the conference. The student organizers, all young women from grade 8, learn a great deal about leadership and responsibility.

Since I am in Grade 8, this was the last year I could attend the Girls Active Living and Sports conference, but this is the first year I have contributed to the organization. Over a few weeks we spent many hours designing the t-shirts that would be worn by all the G.A.L.S. participants, and it made us feel like we were really playing a part in this rewarding experience.

Of course, tension was high a couple days before the G.A.L.S. conference begins, but once the initial stage fright passes, the girls on the Communication Team were ready to roll with their many speeches, presentations and announcements.

G.A.L.S. is designed by girls for girls, and the fact that there are no boys present really adds to the feeling of togetherness and fellowship between groups, adding to the experience.

However, for the first time, this year, St. Lawrence College hosted another special active living opportunity, the A.L.L. (Active Living for Life) GUYS conference, which was held for the first time at St. Lawrence College.

So, when the gals headed off to G.A.L.S, the guys left their schools behind for GUYS, meaning that a total of about one thousand young people were participating in developing healthy, active lifestyles. We will all benefit from this experience, learning to be more comfortable with ourselves, the advantages of being active, and much more. Something that will, hopefully, stay with us throughout our lives.

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