Cawston Primary School students were recently treated to a special surprise when a Canadian Olympian took part in a special event at the school.
For the last 20 years the school has held a stick-horse barrel race during an assembly on the Friday before the May long weekend. However, due to COVID-19 school closures, the event was unable to take place in person this year.
Instead, the school invited invited families to set up three lawn chairs in their yard and film their children running around them on a broom, mop or hockey stick.
Grade 12 student Brody Yamamoto was the fastest competitor in the 2020 Cawston Primary School stick-horse barrel race.
The school sent a short video to families explaining the rules of the competition to ensure fairness. The school also sent out an open invite to anyone to participate in the longstanding Cawston tradition.
Somehow, this invitation reached the ears of Canadian Olympic sprinter Khamica Bingham.
Bingham competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics and was preparing to compete in the 100 metre women’s sprint in Tokyo this summer before the games were cancelled.
When Bingham heard about Cawston Primary School’s barrel race, she jumped at the opportunity to get herself back into competitive action and submitted a video of herself running around lawn chairs along with a short message for the students.
When school reopened on June 1 the video entries were presented to the Cawston students and the videos were made also available for children still learning from home.
First and second grade teacher, Mike Lucich said the race videos were wildly entertaining.
“While it’s not the same as our Western Race Assembly, it was still lots of fun,” he said.
In a shocking upset, Bingham, an Olympic runner, was beaten by many Cawston Primary students.
The honour of fastest runner went to Grade 12 student Brody Yamamoto, who took home the 2020 Stick Horse Belt Buckle.