Sports, Sports, and More Sports

Question: What’s it like being on a sports team?

Sam here and I’ll be answering your question about sports! So generally, in my opinion, all the sports teams aren’t usually very hard to try out for. Usually when one makes the team, that’s when the vigorous training starts. Some sports, like wrestling and cross country, don’t require you to try out as those teams are more with the idea of,”the more the merrier.” Track is also similar to ,”the more the merrier” system, however, the coaches will pick the athlete who trained the hardest for that specific event, or is best suited. There are many sports teams in FFCA, however the ones I will talk about are the teams that I were on for the last two years: cross country, track, badminton, and about a half a season of wrestling.


Personally, cross country was not very difficult. Practice for cross country takes place Monday-Wednesday. Then the race day would follow on Thursday. Since cross country is really just running, the coaches would have us run to different places throughout the three days. Tuesdays would usually be hill runs, while Monday and Wednesday were just regular routine running. However, since cross country is a long-distance running sport, we would usually run more than we have to. For example, junior girls only had to run 3km this year, but we would usually run 5-6km during practice, sometimes 7 depending on where we are going. Cross country is a team where anyone can honestly join, whether you the fastest runner, or the slowest. It’s also a great team to be in as you make new friends and are able to build any stamina that you might need.


Track, depending on what events you are trying out for, can really vary from easy to difficult training. Regardless if you’re trying out for running or not, the team runs either 2 laps in the north field, or 1 Terry Fox lap around the school. Of course all three types of events (throwing, jumping, running) have different type of training so you are able to improve on the specific event that you are trying out for. Also depending on which coach is coaching that event, they may give you different advice that will help. Track practice usually varies; this year it was Tuesday and Thursday after school, and then Tuesday-Thursday during lunch. You don’t have to show up to all of the practices, as they are quite lenient on it, however, it is recommended that you show up to as many as possible so that you are able to improve before the actual tournament day.


Badminton is an amazing sport that encourages you to develop teamwork and communication skills between your teammates and coaches. Depending on if you’re on the junior or senior team, the practices usually varies. Junior badminton practices are generally during lunch and after school, while senior practices are only after school, generally for one and a half hours. For the senior team, some practices would start right after school, while sometimes it would start at 5 and go all the way until 6:30. The junior badminton training wasn’t really all training; it was where you are able to have fun and learn new techniques from other peers. The senior team, however, is generally more focused on the training aspect. During training, we focus on the techniques of clearing, smashing, drop shots, foot movement, etc. from all our coaches and using those techniques, the entire team is able to improve tremendously over a short period of time.


The last one I will talk about is wrestling. Although I can’t give as much insight on wrestling as I can on the other sports, the training we go through can be hard when you first start is, but as the season goes by, you understand that it’s to help you become better at wrestling, get stronger, and to help ensure that you don’t get injuries. Wrestling practices generally take place after school, as we have actual wrestling mats that we use during practice. During practice, the team goes through a series of wrestling techniques and strategies that help enable you to become better at wrestling. We tend to learn these strategies because our coach last year talked about the idea of how strength might not always be advantageous, but techniques are too.


Hope this has helped on your inputs on sports!


Behind the Scenes

Question: If i don’t want to act in one act, but i still want to be involved in some way, what can i do?


If you don’t feel like acting, there’s always Tech. Technical theater is a course that basically makes the performing arts community so dazzling, and there are a multitude of roles involved in tech so brace yourself. If you’re involved in lighting you’re in charge of brightening and dimming, and changing the colours of the lights on cue, for sound its more or less the same, just with music and sound effects. Other roles like Running crew are in charge of the actual set movement during the performance, its more of a physically demanding role because you generally have to lift and move sets before, during, and after the performance. Set designers are the crew of artists who actually get to make the sets for the production.

Stage managing and Directing are also options, but the one-acts are only directed by the grade 12s who’ve taken drama 30. Stage managers are usually chosen by Ms. Orchard, Mr. Halas, Mr. Belcourt and the director of the one-act play.


Tech also builds a wonderful sense of community. The friends and family you create will stick with you throughout all of high school, and often beyond that. As well, it is incredible to watch a show go from bare-bones rehearsal to full show. It is a perfect choice for someone who doesn’t want the stage, yet still wants to be involved.

Performing Arts

Question: What is choir like and can I join it even if I’m already in grade 10? Also, is it too much to have on my plate if I take one act and choir?



Choir is amazing class where you get to bond with all the other singers that are also in that class, regardless of age. Choir is a class that takes place after school from 3:30-5:30, usually with a 5-10 minute break in between. I would say from my experience that not only are you able to bond with other people, you’re also able to become more open and learn many aspects about you that you’ve never noticed before. It doesn’t matter what grade you in when you join choir because if it’s your first year doing choir, you’ll automatically be put in choir 10 (unless you’re in grade 9).

Regarding Musical and One Act, from a TECH PERSPECTIVE, as long as you are able to manage your time wisely, it will not be too hard to handle. Tech for musical usually starts around October (September is usually when the actors start) and that’s when we usually learn about all the lights, the audio boards, and all the positions within the tech crew. Over the course of 3-4 months, both techs and actors bond together like a family. For One Act, tech starts generally around mid to late March. Then a couple weeks before performances start, we get our role and will be put in a play for that specific role. Although I can’t say much about the acting perspective of musical and one act, I will say that overall, it was not very difficult to manage everything. If you are going to try out for Musical or One Act, I’d suggest that (FROM A TECH PERSPECTIVE):

1. Always have homework with you. There are times when we won’t be needed to do something very important so that would be the best time to review or do some homework.

  1. Let the teachers know beforehand! Ask them for your homework a week in advance if you can so you are able to pull ahead of the class so you’re all caught up when musical or one act is done instead of trying to catch up after it’s all done. That way, you can ask your teachers or peers to help you with anything you need.
  2. Make sure you do have the time in your schedule to come on weekends because both actors and techs have to go to school on some weekends to rehearse as well.

As long as you are able to manage time wisely and are very organized with all your subjects, especially if you’re taking AP, I feel that it would not be too much on your plate. Many people in choir doing both Musical or One Act as well so it’s honestly a great experience! Hope to see you try out for both musical and one act next year! Choir too! Break a leg!

Daniel: What it really comes down when taking any kind of after school performing arts is:

Do I have the time and commitment to do all of these while keeping up with academics?

As someone who was a part of these for two years, it is definitely risky being after school every single day of the week (even weekends if you do One Act) because you are decreasing the amount of time you have to get work done. You do also miss a week of school during performances. Although, it is encouraged in One Act and Musical that if you have nothing important to do, do homework. From my experience of doing the technical side of One Act compared to acting last year, tech does require you to stay later than the actors but it’s a really cool experience. In the end, it really is up to how you manage your time and energy. What’s really important is knowing yourself and your limits.

Don’t let these bring you down though!! Being part of the performing arts family is one of the best things you’ll never regret. Not only do you learn about ways to improve your craft, but also ways to improve your own life. Truly, the amount of growth you get from these experiences are unbelievable. Ms. Orchard has worked hard to develop a community where we can all be joyful despite the troubles outside that drama room door. It’s true that we all bond and become a very tight family. If you ever need help, many people in this family are there to help because we are sort of going through the same act of balancing (pun intended). I’ve done One Act, Choir, and Musical for the past two years and what I’ve concluded is that staying on top of academics isn’t that difficult even if you’re in AP. On the note of workload, there are tests involved such as memorization and knowing the notes and rhythm of the songs which again shouldn’t be that difficult if time is budgeted correctly. It really isn’t much but a lot of time is sacrificed. Also, if you’re really dedicated to stay in the arts, it is a great motivation to stay on top of school. I’m looking forward to potentially seeing you in the drama room and having you in the fam!!


My experience being in drama or in fact taking other performing arts like choir, one act, musical, etc. is such an honor. You learn new skills, you create a family, meet new people who will not judge you and accept you for who you are, and last, but not least, you are being taught by teachers that care and by teachers that know what they are doing (they specifically studied and majored in these classes!). Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

BUT, I must admit it takes a lot of commitment. Some people can handle the school workload and take on extra curricular classes, but for others it can be quite difficult. I suggest you take the time to think about whether or not you’re responsible enough to add more things on your “to-do” list. There will be times where it is possible to finish some homework during rehearsal (depending on what you’re planning to take) but most of the time homework will have to be done at home and you may have to stay up at ungodly hours of the night or even morning to finish it.  As someone who is going on in grade 11 as well, I cannot say it will be easy juggling everything but whatever performing arts course you take, I guarantee you will have a life-changing experience you’ll never forget.

When do They Start & End?
Choir is for the whole school year (September – June) and there is practice every Tuesday (for Girls) and Wednesday (for Guys) at lunch
Musical is in the first semester (September – December)
One Act is in the second semester (February – May)

Overcoming Shyness in High school

So, I’m a really shy person, how can I excel in high school? 

Arshnoor: In order to come out of the shell of shyness, you could take the drama course to open up more with your peers. Not only this, you could also join the empowering minds camp next year, which happens once in a year. After coming back from the camp ( which is about three days), you will feel more confident and being able to fully express your thoughts. I have seen many students who have attended that program become more open and participate in discussions. One thing for sure which I can say is that these skills are going to beneficial in your senior years in the high school!

Julianna: Expanding on what has been mentioned about empowering minds. It is a camp that 3 days long. In this camp you learn how to break out of your shell by doing a series of activities with people you may not necessarily know prior to the camp. In the camp you learn how to get uncomfortable and expand your personal comfort zone. I have been there as a student and I have been back 3 times as an on team volunteer. I can personally say with my own experience (as I used to be painfully shy) that this camp is VERY effective, not only for shy people but also those who are more out there and open! I suggest you look into signing up for this opportunity of a life time!

Iffy: Being a person who has been shy for almost all my life, it has been difficult for me to deal with school. But what I can say is that being shy doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. Something that has really helped me open up and feel more confident and comfortable was joining choir. The atmosphere is just so welcoming, and people will welcome you with open arms and help you to feel more comfortable with yourself and with the people around you because it has really impacted my life in such a positive way.

Making friends was something that I really struggled with in high school, but know that your not alone. Many people deal with shyness, but in the end it’s so worth it, to put yourself out their, to show people the kind of person you really are, and even if you don’t have many friends, a small group of close friends is what can really help you be successful in high school.

Leadership 25 and 35

Question: I was wondering what kind of things you learn in leadership 25 and 35 and what the course is like.

Arshnoor: The leadership program offered at our school during grade 11, prepares us to learn the different ways to function well as a team. Not only this, through numerous presentations, it builds public speaking skills, along maintaining proper communication in a team. Additionally, the students get a chance to do the aptitude tests, which signify which careers you will be successful in. That test acts as a way to open up the students’ minds to the many different career paths.

In grade 12, students have the opportunity to apply the concepts which he or she learned in grade 11. As well, in that year, students learn to take the charge on themselves, be independent, and act as team leaders. In the end of the course, students do a legacy project, either for the school or a selected grade. Throughout the process, students learn to how to create a win-win situation within his or her team.

Iffy: Well, you probably hear people saying how boring and useless leadership class is, but it is something that has really helped me with boosting my confidence, and contributing my ideas in class. The things we learn in leadership 25 are very game based which allows people to take on a leadership role and be able to guide people to what they need to do. Their are presentations that are also tied into leadership 25, talking about and learning from people who you consider to be good leaders.. In leadership, you always need to go back to the PALM model: trust, communication and collaboration, roles and responsibilities, focused action, accountability, and finally, results. If you don’t have one of these pieces, than you and your team won’t be successful, so anything you do has to fit with all of these pieces so that everyone is successful. There are also aptitude tests that you take to see what you’re good at and what kind of career you’d be successful in, and it will determine where your passions lie. It doesn’t fully determine what you will go into, but the base of where your passions lie, and sometimes people’s passions and likes shift, so this is not something that will officially determine what you should go into.

Leadership 35 is quite different from leadership 25. In leadership 35, you will still be doing activities, but you will also be put into groups that will be leading the class for 3 days, with your chair, co-chair, secretary, and co-secretary. The main focus of leadership 35 is focusing on your legacy projects, such as this one, which will either impact a certain grade/grades that you decide to choose, if that’s the route you take, or something that will have an impact on the whole school.

All in all, we are a character school, and being able to have a class that focuses on building character, and confidence will be beneficial for when you leave high school, and will make you a very successful leader.

An Effective Legacy Project

Question: How do you see this being an effective legacy project?

Your question might not have met our criteria, but I’m a nice person. I’ll make an exception, partially because I’m a good person, and partially because I am intensely invested in this project.

When considering legacy projects, we wanted something that could influence the entire school.  This idea was something that I’d been working on since last year. The idea behind this was that we, as grade 12’s, have had so many experiences, and the one thing that we can give back to FFCA that would leave an impact, are our stories. Who better to answer questions like “What are classes like?” and “What’s it like being a part of a school sports team?” and such and so forth, than students who have had these experiences?

As for how effective it will be as a legacy to carry out, we have already arranged for students to take on the website for the following years. It will be a multi-grade group, which will allow for different students to share their experiences. When we leave, the plan is to add in another website, “Ask an Alumni” so that we can continue to spread our influence and stories.

Thanks for your question,