Local RNAO chapter donation a win for kids
Tim Brody - Associate Editor
Sioux Lookout’s Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) chapter is supporting a local initiative aimed at helping kids make new friends, become physically active, and build self-esteem.
Last year Queen Elizabeth District High School (QEDHS) wrestling coach Rob Sakamoto ran a free after-school wrestling club for elementary school students. More than 30 children of different ages, heights, weights, ethnicities, genders, and physical abilities took part in the program
The program captured the interest of local RNAO chapter members who asked Sakamoto how they could support it.
Hub International, a leading North American insurance brokerage, provides home and auto insurance to RNAO members. Through the organization’s charitable initiative, Hub Gives, the Sioux Lookout RNAO chapter was able to secure $500 to purchase several sets of Attack Bandz for the wrestling program.
“That was a suggestion he (Sakamoto) made because he said it makes the training more fun,” Sioux Lookout RNAO chapter co-president Carol Maxwell explained.
“We had wanted some Attack Bandz for quite a while because it really makes wrestling fun,” Sakamoto commented.
“The Attack Bandz are bands that you put around your ankle and the kids have to wrestle to try to get them off. Especially with the smaller kids, you have to really make it fun. It was really nice of them. We’re all very appreciative,” Sakamoto said of the donation.
He added the Attack Bandz will benefit not just youth in the after-school wrestling program, but members of the high school wrestling team as well.
“We started the program last year to give kids something to do after school. There was a lot of interest,” Sakamoto said.
The Warriors Wrestling Club starts back up again on March 21.
The eight week program runs Monday and Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the high school.
Children in Grades 4 to 8 are eligible for the free after school program.
People can keep up to date on the program, and obtain consent forms for their children, at Warrior Wrestling Club – Sioux Lookout on Facebook.
“The beautiful thing about wrestling is that it doesn’t matter about your body type, your weight, or your size. Both boys and girls will be able to compete. We don’t make any cuts,” Sakamoto said.
“I honestly believe that wrestling is one of the most inclusive sports because anybody can participate. You don’t have to be an athlete. You don’t have to win a genetic lottery to compete,” Sakamoto shared.
He added, “My personal coaching philosophy is that I believe wrestling is very similar to martial arts and we should incorporate some of those philosophies. In the end, personally, I think that all sport is a vehicle for character development, for personal development, and growth.”
Over the course of the program, Sakamoto plans to hold two tournaments, the second annual watermelon festival, as well as an Attack Bandz tournament.
Sioux Lookout RNAO chapter members plan to set up and staff medical stations at both tournaments as a show of support.