Ready, Set, Go!

The Kateslem Youth Society races through the fun filled months of May and June.

What a successful time for the Kateslem Youth Society! All of our members had the opportunity to participate in 3 fun and exciting activities: the Multicultural Dinner, Walk to Protect Kids and a Dragon boating race. All the events proved to be a great time for everyone involved.

Kateslem After School Program - Multi-Cultural DinnerThe Multicultural Dinner held in the cafeteria at Como Lake Middle School brought together the youth at Kateslem and their parents, the principals from Banting, Como Lake and Summit Middle Schools as well as the vice principal, teachers and secretaries from Como Lake Middle School. Everyone spent the night socializing and enjoying great dishes from all around the world! It was clear the favorite dish of the night was Greek Feta Prawns as they were almost gone as soon as they hit the table! The youth gave nine speeches sharing facts and personal stories about the countries they are from including: Nepal, Afghan, Iran, China, Scotland, Philippines and the Ukraine. Karyn Bell, program executive director, said, “It was amazing to watch all the parents, youth, teachers and principals interacting and socializing. It didn’t matter what school they were from everyone came together as the Kateslem Youth Society and had a great time!”

The Walk to Protect Kids is an annual fundraiser held by Kateslem to raise money for the after school program to ensure it is kept free and accessible to all the Coquitlam youth that need us. The total amount raised by the youth in the program was over $2500.00! This year all students from Como Lake Middle School came out to show their support and joined our Kateslem youth in the walk. It was great to see the community support and Kateslem would like to thank Como Lake Middle School for their participation in this great event.

Kateslem After School Program - Dragon BoatAfter such a successful month of May, the youth at Kateslem jump started June with a day at the Dragon Boat Races an event hosted by the Canoe and Kayak Association of BC. Our youth participated in a total of 4 races, winning the last of them by completing 200 meters in 1 minute and 17 seconds! All in attendance including program leaders and a number of parents were ecstatic to celebrate the kid’s success! “This event really brought the best out in the Kateslem youth, everyone came together and showed their strength as a team. They even extended that teamwork to other schools that did not have enough members in their boats by jumping right in and rowing with them so that everyone was able to participate. It was awesome to watch and I am very proud of all the Kateslem kids” said executive director, Karyn Bell. A big thank-you goes out to the Dogwood Nothin’ Dragon, dragon boat racing team who volunteers their time training and encouraging the youth, as well as donating equipment that gives them the opportunity to participate!

Kateslem Dragon Boat Team

Dogwood Nothin’ Dragon Boat team is made up of seniors 50 plus and over. There are about 65 Tri-City members on the Team. In addition to their weekly practice, members of the Nothin’ Dragon team , volunteer to instruct Tri-City youth in dragon boating. The youth program has been operating for four years and the seniors have coached ten or more students each year with practice sessions 1 1/2 hrs each week in the spring and fall.

In 2013, the Nothin’ Dragon team applied for and received a Spirit of Coquitlam grant to expand the program and train the youth so the Kateslem team can compete in the Burnaby Youth Dragon Boat Race on May 31st, 2013.  There will be approximately 30 youngsters in the program in 2013. Through the grant the
students will receive PFDs (life-jackets) and paddling gloves and some funds will be available for transportation. The 2013 program takes place at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody and will start on April 18th and continue up to the end of May.

The goal of the program is to encourage youth in healthy physical activity and develop team building. Mentoring with seniors is seen as a positive benefit to both the seniors and the youth.

(The photo below is from the Dogwood Nothin’ Dragon website, which you can see, by clicking this link.)

Dragon Boat2