Bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment hon­ours for­mer stu­dent

Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate names bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment to re­mem­ber stu­dent who died in Au­gust

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS [email protected]­n­com­pass.ca

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

hap­pened oth­er­wise.

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.

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

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.

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

Stu­dents Noah Ge­orge (left) and Sarah Glavine take aim at the net.

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