The Montreal Gazette 28 February, 2019


28 Feb 2019
BILL BROWNSTEIN

 

Mountaineer offers tips for navigating icy city

Focus and fitness are paramount for navigating city’s sidewalks, laneways

Theodore Fairhurst is the oldest person on Earth to have scaled the world’s Seven Summits as well as its Volcanic Seven Summits.

The advice is simple and to the point: “Focus, plan your path, take small steps, wear sensible footwear, preferably with crampons, and, above all, feel confident, because fear of failure will bring you down almost every time. So will answering your cellphone.”

This advice comes courtesy of renowned Montreal mountain climber Theodore Fairhurst.

Two months ago, Fairhurst became the ninth and oldest person on the planet to scale the world’s Seven Summits as well as its Volcanic Seven Summits — the highest mountains of each of the seven continents in these two categories. Fairhurst, 71, is also the first North or South American to have accomplished these feats.

But Fairhurst’s aforementioned advice to this intrepid explorer does not relate to me attempting to scale the peaks of Everest or Kilimanjaro. (As if.) No, he has set a daunting new challenge for us: navigating our icy city sidewalks and laneways.

Fairhurst concedes he has taken his fair share of tumbles in his slippery Shaughnessy Village ’hood. There has been some salting on the sidewalk in front of his home, but it is buried so deep that even a mining prospector would have to rely on power tools to dig it out. As for the abrasive-less laneway adjacent to his home, he could conceivably skate on it, were it not for the foot-high rut running through the middle.

On the plus side, Fairhurst has determined we won’t be requiring his ice picks, grips, ropes or rappel gear for this odyssey, although helmets could have come in handy.

“Fitness is as paramount here as it is for mountain climbing,” Fairhurst notes. “But I don’t think anyone can avoid falling from time to time. There’s some pretty wicked stuff out there. Obviously, the city hasn’t maintained its streets and sidewalks as it should have. Although the winter has been particularly bad, there are parts of the city where it is more safe.”

But the important thing is that we made it through our jaunt, and without even having resorted to any double Salchow moves to stay vertical.

Back in the 1970s, our government aired PartipACTION messages, decrying the fact that the average 60-year-old Swede was in better shape than the average 30-year-old Canadian. Well, I defy the Swedes to come up with a 71-year-old in better shape than Fairhurst. Though he weighs but 130 pounds, he regularly bench presses more than 200 pounds. And he does all manner of sports.

But what possesses someone to undertake the mountain-climbing adventures he has?

“Again, it’s about following a path, but on another level,” says Fairhurst, also an artist and videographer who dabbles in real estate. “And when you follow it long enough, you continue pushing your limits further and further.”

He began his climbing odyssey in 2006, taking on Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest mountain in the Southern and Western Hemispheres. Over the next eight years, he would complete climbing the Seven Summits, including Everest, Denali and Kilimanjaro.

In 2014, after scaling the mountains, he set across the North Atlantic with a team in a 65-foot ocean-racing boat. And in 2015, he took it a tad easier, mountain biking across Scotland.

But those feats were clearly not challenging enough for Fairhurst. So, upon turning 70 in 2017, he decided he would then undertake to ascend the world’s Volcanic Seven Summits, but in just one year. He had done two of the mountains, Elbrus and Kilimanjaro, before in the Seven Summits series, but decided to do them over again for this quest.

“I got six of them done in eight months, but I got shut down twice with the seventh, the Ojos del Salado mountain in Chile. I was just 75 metres from the summit, too,” recalls Fairhurst, married to a “most understanding” spouse. “So I went back in December to finish.

“It all may sound pretty wild, but I don’t have a death wish whatsoever. I really love life and want to continue doing this. You evolve. It’s not like I went from nothing to climbing Everest.”

Fairhurst’s most daunting experience, even more than dealing with our sidewalks, came while descending Everest, at 29,000 feet high.

“Instead of twisting in, I twisted out, just hanging perilously on a rope with only my two hands. My heart was racing. I was in serious trouble. But somehow I was able to get twisted back.”

For a follow-up, Fairhurst had contemplated becoming the first person to cycle through the South Pole on a fat-tire bike. “But someone beat me to it, so I just don’t see the point of doing it now. It’s kind of nice to be the first, so I’ll just have to find something else.”

bbrownstein@postmedia.com
Twitter.com/ billbrownstein

The Montreal Gazette July 19, 2012

MONTREAL – “It is not the size of the mountain, it is the size of the dream.”

That is the quote at the end of emails sent by Ted Fairhurst.

And it very aptly describes the 65-year-old artist, mountain-climber and world traveller.

And in his case, both the mountains and the dreams are big.

Fairhurst is a big believer in setting goals and achieving them. But his goals are far from the norm. Take, for example his goal, which he called the 7 Summits Challenge: to climb the highest mountain on every continent.

So far he’s done:

1) Aconcagua, January 2006; in Argentina

2) Denali, May 2007; in Alaska

3) Vinson, January 2009; Antarctica

4) Everest, May 2010; Asia

5) Kilimanjaro, January 2012; Africa

And the sixth will be Mount Elbrus in Russia, (Europe) for which he is training and will be leaving on Aug. 3. Immediately after that, he will head to Lenin Peak, on the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in the Pamirs (just north of Afghanistan)

For Fairhurst, the most challenging of all was Mount Everest: Gruelling and long; it took 50 days.

Was he ever terrified? No, he said. But he’s been very nervous and on edge, and for him that is the moment you must step back and collect your thoughts. “Fear is what can get you into serious trouble. You have to remain calm and gather yourself and move on.”

He readily admits he does all this to push himself, “to see how far I can go. Isn’t that what life is really about?”

His best words of advice, in pretty much in all aspects of your life: “Always follow your gut. It’s never wrong.”

Very impressive for a self proclaimed “hippie/beatnik,” who quit university to travel around the world. That’s when his world really began to take shape.

He says he always knew he would be a wanderer — and that he had a knack for it.

When he was eight, he went on a berry-picking excursion with his mother and aunt. They got lost, and the women “panicked a bit, but I said follow me: I remember how to get us out of here.”

After hitchhiking around Europe, first in Scotland, then in England he hitched a ride with an American all the way to Kandahar, Afghanistan.

He eventually ended up in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he met a climber from New Zealand who had just returned from hiking to the base of Everest. That got his attention. He was inspired to try himself, despite never having ever attempted anything like it.

He went for it, and when he got there Fairhurst says he took one long look around and knew “within 30 seconds” that he would one day go back and climb to the top.

The bug for hiking had bitten. But it would be another 40 years before he made it back to make good on that goal.

He did though, climbing to the summit on his stepson David’s 18th birthday, May 23rd, 2010.

Ted came back to Montreal in 1976 and began to paint. It was the beginning, the “ explosion of the tech age” and he was passionate about painting his vision of where the world was going.

His interpretations of “man’s relationship to science and technology” painted on Plexiglas was a body of work that he is still very proud of. He had exhibitions here, in the U.S. and in Europe.

Fairhurst has also been successful in real estate, which has given him the means to pursue his passion for hiking and windsurfing,

He’s a firm believer in not letting life pass you by.

“You have to go for things; you have to try different things to help you figure out who you are, what your passions are.”

“I like to push myself to the edge, to test my own limits. That’s how you get good at things.”

He likens it to riding a bike. “You’re not good at it at first, but you keep at it, eventually you get better, you cycle a little faster, and then you may start doing tricks, always testing the limits a little bit further each time. That’s how we get better.”

He also believes nothing comes easy in life. “But that’s the beauty of it … you get out of life what you are willing to put into it.”

And he continues to put in a great deal.Which is why he takes great pleasure in speaking to children. He’s fascinated by their inquisitive minds, by their questions (“Where do you go to the bathroom?” That is the one most often asked by younger kids.). And he’s so touched by those who call him inspiring.“I just want children to know they can follow their dreams, they can get out there and do things and experience life.”That’s not done sitting in front of a television playing video games day in and day out.

He says failure is natural, and can be a good thing. “It means you are trying something new. We need it at times to learn and go forward.”When it comes to his diet, Fairhurst will never, ever eat processed food of any kind. He’s not a fanatic about eating “everything organic,” but he does believe in a Mediterranean way of eating, lots of fish, vegetables, and fruit. “Healthy things, whole things,” not manufactured. And that it truly does come down to calories in versus calories out.

“You really are what you eat.”Fairhurst trains with a group, Esprit de Corps, an outdoor training group with“ guys half his age” and is very proud of the fact he sits on the Esprit de Corp foundation. It’s a non-profit organization devoted to helping a new generation achieve a healthy lifestyle. One of the most recent projects was to help single working parents, specifically to help them get a handle on their lives, learn to train for a challenge, and to get into better physical shape. “We want to help them learn to help themselves” he said.

It’s his hope this foundation, alongside founder Gilles Barbot, will help people live their best – and healthiest – lives.

These days, he’s spending most of his time training for his trek in Russia. Weekends are spent at his cottage, mountain biking, weightlifting and running up Mont Tremblant with heavy packs.It’s clear how passionate he is about his lifestyle. And he’s also added photography to his list of accomplishments.The images on his website of his treks are glorious.

He says Antarctica is extraordinary. “It’s white and harsh and extreme – and simply breathtaking.”

He’d love to go one day “where very few footsteps have been,” but that requires significant resources and planning.

Somehow, I just know that he will check that particular goal off his checklist, too.

jthompson@montrealgazette.com

Twitter: @junieone

Posted with the express permission of:
“Montreal Gazette”, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

The Montreal Gazette August 21, 2012 / Move it or Lose It

 

  Click here to read more

New Book - 'PAS D'EXCUSES!' by Jean-Pierre Lemaitre

“You want to make changes in your life, but you say you do not have the time, or it’s not the right time, and in any event it will not work? Are you someone who always find excuses not to act? Well, this little guide is for you!”

“I have been impressed by the way Ted Fairhurst managed his life . His philosophy of life is in harmony with the messages and techniques that I present in my book. That’s why I decided to make him a key figure in my book. Page after page we discover how he managed to live his passions, and to have the life he always wanted. Ted is an example for our youth!”

“Vous voulez apporter des changements dans votre vie, mais vous vous dites que vous n’avez pas le temps, que ce n’est pas le bon moment et que, de toute façon, ça ne pas marchera pas? Êtes-vous de ceux qui se trouvent toujours des excuses pour ne pas passer à l’action? Eh bien, ce petit guide est fait pour vous!”

“Le parcours de Ted Fairhurst m’a beaucoup impressionné, sa philosophie de la vie est en harmonie avec les messages et techniques que je présente dans mon livre. C’est la raison pour laquelle j’ai décidé d’en faire un personnage clé de mon ouvrage, nous découvrons page après page comment il a réussi à vivre de ses passions, et à avoir la vie qu’il a toujours souhaité avoir. Ted est un exemple pour nos jeunes !”

Jean-Pierre Lemaitre

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

Ted Fairhurst at St.Monica Elementary ! Watch video now!

Ted Fairhurst, a world renowned adventurer and founder of daretoreach.ca, brought his incredible life story and positive message of determination to the students of St. Monica Elementary School in N.D.G. recently, encouraging students to find the strength to climb their own metaphorical mountains.

Fairhurst, a graduate of the English Montreal School Board’s Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School and the former Montreal West High (now Royal West), has taken physical fitness to a new level, highlighted by celebrating his 63rd birthday on Mount Everest. Over the course of one hour, Fairhurst shared with students and staff at St. Monica his trek through life, culminating with a riveting story which led him to the top of the world’s highest mountain, accomplishing a lifelong dream.

Born with a passion for adventure, his latest accomplishment was just yet another in a lifetime of physical feats, which begain in 1969 when he hitchhiked from Scotland to Afghanistan. It was then, while in Kathmandu, where Fairhurst met a New Zealand climber who had just returned from a journey to Everest Base Camp and back.

That climber’s story propelled Fairhurst to cross over high mountain passes and tropical valleys to find his way up and over the Khumbu Mountain Range. Alone, with no mountaineering experience, no tent, only a summer sleeping bag, and only potatoes and rice for sustenance, he managed to climb up the Khumbu Glacier to approximately 19,000 feet to Everest Base Camp, spending 32 days alone in the greatest mountain range on earth, surviving only on his energy and wits. Although he did not get to climb Everest on that trip, he vowed to one day return.

While his adventures have taken him to every corner of the globe, climbing the world’s most daunting mountains, Fairhurst has maintained the ideals that everything humans do is learned and as such, humans decide where they want to go and what they want to become – so with this philosophy, he tells students why not use this immense power and Dare to Reach?

watch video here

The Montreal Gazette September 29, 2010

Teacher/traveller still walks the walk

When he leads west-end students participating in Walk to School Day next week, maybe Ted Fairhurst will slow down to give the kids a break.

Fairhurst is 63 and grew up on Westmore Ave. near Somerled Ave. in Notre Dame de Grace. Twice a day, he walked a kilometre to and from Elizabeth Ballantyne elementary school in Montreal West.

It was the 1950s. Children walked to school in the morning, came home for lunch, walked back to school, and walked home.

I don’t have 2010 statistics at hand, but it’s a safe bet very few elementary students walk four kilometres a day. And it’s a safer bet few sexagenarians have climbed Mount Everest.

Fairhurst reached the top of the world’s highest mountain on May 23. It was his birthday, and he celebrated by brandishing a Frisbee on which he had written “Distinct Tibet/ United China.”

“I was going to launch the Frisbee off the top of Everest,” Fairhurst told me yesterday. “But the video function on my camera didn’t work. There was no point doing it just for fun.”

A friend of Fairhurst, Steve Aker, knows Mike Cohen, who is in charge of PR for the English Montreal School Board. When Cohen heard about Fairhurst’s Everest exploit, he approached him to be honorary chairman of International Walk to School Day.

Next Wednesday morning, Fairhurst will walk with students and parents from Elizabeth Ballantyne, Royal Vale, St. Monica’s, Willingdon and Lower Canada College. The event, he says, is “all about what I stand for.”

“Get out and be active,” he elaborated. “That’s seen as a problem these days with kids, and it’s scary.”

Fairhurst has been actively getting out and about all his life. As a guide at Expo 67, he met tourists from all over, which piqued his interest in seeing more of the world.

“I probably had the travel bug already,” Fairhurst said, “but that gave it to me in a big way.”

In the summer of 1969, Fairhurst drove an old beater out to Banff and worked there for the summer before moving on to Vancouver, where he planned to sign on as a seaman for a trip to Asia. He couldn’t do so without union papers, so Fairhurst hitchhiked back east to Halifax and caught a cheap flight to Scotland.

“I was hitching around England and met an American guy with a Volkswagen camper,” Fairhurst recalled. “He said, ‘I’m going to Afghanistan. Want to come?’ So off we went.

“A Canadian kid who had never travelled in his life not only crossed Europe but also Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, back when it was peaceful and you could go there.”

His journey continued into Pakistan, India and Nepal. With “zero experience camping or mountaineering,” Fairhurst spent 32 days hiking to the Mount Everest base camp. He had no tent, slept in a summer-weight sleeping bag and lived on rice.

Through the 1970s, Fairhurst worked as an artist, specializing in abstract acrylics on canvas. He spent a lot of time in Europe, where he bought and ran a tour bus.

While his CV may conjure up visions of a pony-tailed eternal hippie, Fairhurst is a button-down businessman who has been buying, renovating and selling Montreal buildings since the early 1980s.

“You could call me a developer,” he said, “but that’s a bit grandiose for what I do.”

As an entrepreneur, Fairhurst is able to carve out time for his mountaineering projects. Everest was the fourth of seven peaks he plans to scale.

Fairhurst has been a serious climber since 1999. At an age when his contemporaries were playing golf, he was scaling peaks in the Andes and has been mountaineering ever since, with breaks to have old skiing injuries repaired in both knees.

Fairhurst, who has weighed an unvarying 130 pounds for as long as he can remember, is also a serious mountain biker. He trains with a group of 20-and 30-somethings.

“They sometimes call me Pops,” Fairhurst said, “but I can do all the things they can do. And they respect me for it.”

 

MIKE BOONE

mboone@montrealgazette.com

 

Posted with the express permission of:
“Montreal Gazette”, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

Commission scolaire English Montreal / WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6

CHAIR OF INTERNATIONAL WALK TO SCHOOL DAY

MONTREAL,  SEPTEMBER 13, 2010

When Ted Fairhurst attended Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School in Montreal West 56 years ago, he walked to school several times a day. Many years later he has taken physical fitness to a new level, having recently climbed Mount Everest and celebrating his 63rdbirthday there, he describes this as one of the most memorable experiences of his life.

Mr. Fairhurst is indeed seen as a role model to youngsters and wishes to encourage them to pursue healthy and physically active lifestyles. With this in mind he has accepted the honourary chairmanship of the English Montreal School Board’s (EMSB) participation in Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October, 6, 2010. It will begin at 7:30 a.m., with one walk starting from N.D.G. Park, at the corner of Marcil and Cote St. Antoine, and another beginning at 8:30 a.m. from Confederation Park at the corner of Kensington and Fielding. “We can accomplish extraordinary things if we have a passion for life. There is no limit to what we are able to achieve” Mr. Fairhurst stated, when asked what message he would like to give to our students about staying motivated and pursuing their dreams.

“Just go for it!”  he adds.

Participants in the International Walk to School Day are the students and parents from the EMSB’s Elizabeth Ballantyne, Royal Vale, St. Monica, Willingdon and a private school, Lower Canada College. Students who participate will walk to school with their parents or be dropped off at one of the designated starting points.

Both the N.D.G YMCA and Montreal Police Station 11 have joined the event as community partners. The police are especially important as they plan and supervise the walking routes by car..They plan the walking route prior to the event and supervise by car on the day of the event. The walking routes planned by the Police Department are both safe and direct, and create more public awareness of the walking corridors.The principals, physical education teachers, and parent volunteers are on hand to supervise both in the parks and throughout the walk.

Mr. Fairhurst is an artist by profession. From drawing on toilet paper at four years old, to getting up at 4 am to go duck hunting when he was 12, Mr. Fairhurst had to squeeze in every moment he could to pursue his passions. At 20, after getting a taste of the world working at Expo ‘67 in Montreal, he was ready to get out there and go explore the globe himself.

Hitchhiking all the way from Scotland to Afghanistan in 1969, he then travelled by bus to India and Nepal. In Kathmandu he met a New Zealand climber who had just returned from trekking about 300 miles to Everest Base Camp and back. His story, within seconds, shot so much adrenaline into Mr. Fairhurst’s bloodstream, he knew he had to go and try to do it too.

Within days he was crossing over high mountain passes and finding his way up and over the Khumbu Range. With no mountaineering experience, alone and only a summer sleeping bag, he somehow managed to climb up the Khumbu Glacier to approximately 19,000 feet to Everest Base Camp.“I spent 32 days alone in the greatest mountain range on earth surviving only on my energy and wits,” he says.

In the 80’s, Mr. Fairhurst plunged into creating his own business of real estate. With not much money, but plenty of will power, he built a company mostly on faith and determination alone. He learned the values of self-motivation and creative thinking.

In November 2002, he ventured to Bolivia to attempt to climb  the 19,974 foot (6,088 metre) Huayna Potosi. His first attempt was cut short by a need for urgent medical attention in La Paz for a tooth abscess. Ten days later his second attempt at the summit was halted by heavy snow and avalanches. Although Mr. Fairhurst may not have reached those summits, his passion for mountaineering increased even more.

About a year later, he decided to join an international team to climb Cho Oyu in Tibet, an 8,000 metre  mountain. They arrived at the mountain a week later and began their long acclimatization process. Leaving high camp (25,000 feet) at 11:30 p.m. and climbing all night up steep rock and icy terrain, the group reached the summit of Cho Oyu (8,201 metres) at 6 a.m. on October 5, 2008. “Hard training, determination, believing in yourself, and daring was the simple key to our success” says Mr. Fairhurst.

Mr. Fairhurst hopes to complete the seven summits, the highest on every continent, within a year. Already having climbed the four most difficult out of the seven, Mr. Fairhurst is in arm’s reach of his goal.

Adventurer captivates St. Monica students / Montreal, November 29, 2010

MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 29, 2010

Ted Fairhurst, a world renowned adventurer and founder of www.daretoreach.ca, brought his incredible life story and positive message of determination to the students of St. Monica Elementary School in N.D.G.  recently, encouraging students to find the strength to climb their own metaphorical mountains.

 Fairhurst, a graduate of the English Montreal School Board’s Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School and the former Montreal West High (now Royal West),  has taken physical fitness to a new level, highlighted by celebrating his 63rdbirthday on Mount Everest. Over the course of one hour, Fairhurst shared with students and staff at St. Monica his trek through life, culminating with a riveting story which led him to the top of the world’s highest mountain, accomplishing a lifelong dream.

Born with a passion for adventure, his latest accomplishment was just yet another in a lifetime of physical feats, which begain in 1969 when he hitchhiked from Scotland to Afghanistan. It was then, while in Kathmandu, where Fairhurst met a New Zealand climber who had just returned from a journey to Everest Base Camp and back.

That climber’s story propelled Fairhurst to cross over high mountain passes and tropical valleys to find his way up and over the Khumbu Mountain Range. Alone, with no mountaineering experience, no tent, only a summer sleeping bag, and only potatoes and rice for sustenance, he managed to climb up the Khumbu Glacier to approximately 19,000 feet to Everest Base Camp, spending 32 days alone in the greatest mountain range on earth, surviving only on his energy and wits. Although he did not get to climb Everest on that trip, he vowed to one day return.

While his adventures have taken him to every corner of the globe, climbing the world’s most daunting mountains, Fairhurst has maintained the ideals that everything humans do is learned and as such, humans decide where they want to go and what they want to become – so with this philosophy, he tells students why not use this immense power and Dare to Reach?

A complete video of Fairhurst’s talk at St. Monica can be found here

English Montreal School Board

The West End TIMES Saturday October 2, 2010

EMSB - International Walk to School Day / September 30, 2010

When Ted Fairhurst attended Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School (EBS) in Montreal West 56 years ago, he walked to school several times a day. Many years later he has taken physical fitness to a new level, having recently climbed Mount Everest and celebrated his 63rd birthday there. He describes this as one of the most memorable experiences of his life.

Mr. Fairhurst is indeed seen as a role model to youngsters and wishes to encourage them to pursue healthy and physically active lifestyles. With this in mind he has accepted the honourary chairmanship of the English Montreal School Board‟s (EMSB) participation in Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October, 6, 2010. It will begin at 7:30 a.m., with one walk starting from N.D.G. Park, at the corner of Marcil and Cote St. Antoine, and another beginning at 8:30 a.m. from Confederation Park at the corner of Kensington and Fielding. “We can accomplish extraordinary things if we have a passion for life. There is no limit to what we are able to achieve” Mr. Fairhurst stated, when asked what message he would like to give to our students about staying motivated and pursuing their dreams.

“Just go for it!” he adds.

Participants in the International Walk to School Day are the students and parents from the EMSB‟s EBS, Royal Vale, St. Monica, Willingdon and a private school, Lower Canada College. St. John Bosco in Ville Émard has just signed up. Students who participate will walk to school with their parents or be dropped off at one of the designated starting points. For the complete press release and more information about Mr. Fairhurst‟s incredible accomplishment click here. You can also read Mike Boone‟s column here in The Montreal Gazette.

EMSB - Press Release October 27, 2010

 

WALK TO SCHOOL

Ted Fairhurst (right), seen here with Commissioner
Joseph Lalla and students in front of Elizabeth Ballantyne.

Hundreds of students from six elementary schools (Royal Vale, Willingdon and St. Monica in N.D.G,; Elizabeth Ballantyne in Montreal West; St. John Bosco in Ville Émard; and Edward Murphy in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve) skipped the car ride on October 6 to join their peers from around the world and take part in International Walk to School Day.

Along with their parents and staff, the students in the West End were accompanied throughout their walk by Ted Fairhurst, who served as an honourary chairman of the annual event organized by the English Montreal School Board. In addition to being an Elizabeth Ballantyne alumnus, Mr. Fairhurst has taken physical fitness to a new level as he recently celebrated his 63rd birthday on top of Mount Everest.

“This is a wonderful event,” said Mr. Fairhurst. “It‟s so important for kids to get out there and walk. This is the time in their lives where they make their bodies what they will be in the future. I used to walk to school four times a day. It‟s vital for good health and a good mind.” For more details click here.

 

The West End TIMES October 18, 2010

PHYSICAL LITERACY at EMSB

English Montreal School Board (EMSB) has a new very progressive program called: PHYSICAL LITERACY is Everyday Life. MORE physical activity means more alertness, a better sense of self, and happier kids. Proud to be an ambassador.

Here is a description by Kristin McNeill from the EMSB newsletter:

Physical literacy is about developing the competence, confidence, and motivation to be active in a variety of ways and environments. The idea is that by being confident in physical activity, students benefit in their overall physical, mental, and emotional health. Physical Education plays a critical role in developing physical literacy – in Phys. Ed. classes, students develop their movement competence, and Physical Education teachers are also careful to structure their classes to encourage confidence and motivation, two important components of physical literacy. The benefits of regular physical activity are already well documented: sustained long-term health, increased social connectedness, improved general mental and physical well-being, and better quality of life. But children who are more physically literate have more access to these benefits, which is central to their success as students.

The EMSB’s strength in physical literacy rests on four pillars: its robust Physical Education and Health programs, its “60 Minutes of Daily Physical Activity” program (based on the Quebec government initiative À l’école, on bouge!), its avid participation in interscholastic sports and its additional programming in outdoor and active living activities.

The EMSB strives to help all students achieve success, and supporting the development of physical literacy through various programs is an important pathway to this goal. What’s more, more movement in the school day is usually accompanied by more fun and engagement in the classroom.

MIKE COHEN - FEBRUARY 15, 2017

Mike Cohen (February 15, 2017)

A REMARKABLE MAN: Montrealer Theodore Frederic Fairhurst, who turns 70 in April, has had several careers as a fine artist, entrepreneur, high-altitude mountain climber and a public speaker. He has climbed the Seven Summits, including Mount Everest and recently found himself in a jungle in Papua New Guinea. There he got separated from his teammates, finding himself all alone. As night fell and without food, sleeping bag or tent, he had to huddle alone in the pouring rain and listen all night to the sounds and calls of different animals. His new challenge at 70 is to climb the highest volcano on all seven continents (Volcanic Seven Summits) and hopefully poke all generations of people to take on their own goals and get out into Nature.

press