Basketball tournament honours former student
Carbonear Collegiate names basketball tournament to remember student who died in August
A unified basketball tournament at Carbonear Collegiate was recently held in memory of a student who died over the summer.
The loud, hectic gymnasium at Carbonear Collegiate fell silent as the crowd stopped to observe a moment of silence for a former student.
Daniel Trickett-Pye died in August at the age of 16.
He suffered from a severe type of muscular dystrophy, known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, causing a loss of muscle in his upper legs and, eventually, moving to his upper arms.
On Friday, Dec. 14, the school community honoured him with a memorial basketball tournament.
Family and friends of Daniel, as well as the school community, were on hand for the opening ceremonies Friday morning.
Tracey Pye, Daniel’s mother, expressed the family’s gratitude for the gesture.
“It was a very nice surprise,” she said with a smile to match her husband’s. “I know Daniel is looking down on this today, with a big old smile on his face, happy as ever. He was such a unique boy, and I know he would have loved to see this for himself.”
Daniel’s father, Chris Pye, says while Daniel was not able to play basketball, he loved to be involved in anything he could.
Given the opportunity, he says Daniel would have loved to have participated in the sport.
“He always wanted to be involved in things in one way or another. He loved to be the centre of attention,” Chris said with a smile on his face, remembering his son. “He couldn’t do a whole lot, but he always wanted to be there, and was always happy to be doing something.”
During the opening ceremonies, the family was presented with a plaque featuring Daniel’s photo.
Danielle Doyle is an instructional resource teacher (IRT) at Carbonear Collegiate. She and fellow IRT Carolyn Pike organize unified sports at the school.
Doyle told The Compass the decision to name this year’s fall basketball tournament after Daniel was an easy one.
She said Daniel was an important part of the school and is remembered fondly.
“He very much enjoyed his time at this school, for sure. He loved to go for drives, and to go for rides in the elevator,” she said, adding that during his time at Carbonear Collegiate, Daniel worked his way into the hearts of teachers and students alike. He loved to pop into classrooms on occasion, simply to see what everyone was up to.
In fact, it was Daniel’s fellow classmates that initially raised the idea of naming the tournament after him.
“We were talking in the fall about ways we could remember Daniel. They decided they wanted to name the basketball tournament after him. That was very moving. They miss him, and I think it shows them that something positive can still come from Daniel’s very sad situation.
“Had Daniel not been so ill, this was an activity we think he would have very much liked to have been a part of. Unfortunately, because of his illness, he never got that opportunity, so it really felt right to name the tournament after him.”
Doyle added events like these offer not only special needs students but all students an opportunity to continue to develop sports-related skills, and to form friendships and special bonds that may not have been
This is the third year the Carbonear school has hosted unified sports competitions under Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador. They were the first school in the province to do so; since then competitions have been hosted in other schools, in Burin and St. John’s.
In addition to basketball, Carbonear Collegiate has also hosted bocce and indoor soccer tournaments.
This year’s basketball tournament featured teams from Carbonear Collegiate, Crescent Collegiate, Laval High School, and Ascension Collegiate; six games were played during the day.
Some of the athletes participating in Friday’s game will also have the chance to travel to Ontario in May 2019, for a Special Olympics Unified Sport invitational basketball tournament, featuring schools from across the country.
Details on this will be worked out after the Christmas break.
Danielle Doyle, alongside some of Daniel’s family, with a plaque featuring Daniel’s face. From left to right: Tracey Pye, Danielle Doyle, Chris Pye, Crystal Pye, and Jamie Piercey.
Chris Pye (left) and Tracey Pye look over a plaque presented to them during the opening ceremonies Friday morning, featuring the image of their son Daniel.
Students Noah George (left) and Sarah Glavine take aim at the net.