Mikael Savard is a champion on the motocross circuit. On Friday, he used his past experiences to encourage others to be champions too.
Standing on a stage erected on the arena floor at the Glengarry Sports Palace, his bike in front of him and bathed in yellow light, the 17-year-old Grade 12 student from L’école secondaire catholique L’Escale in Rockland spoke to 1,300 Grades 5-12 students from area French Catholic schools about pursuing their goals.
“I talked about how I won the championship and I also talked about how I saw a lot of potential in the room,” said Mikael, who placed first in the open class at the 2018 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship in Hurricane Mills, TN this past summer. “There are 1,300 champions here and they can change the world one person at a time.”
Mikael was just one of several speakers to either appear onstage or by video at the event, the second annual Journée CSDCEO...Unis, a version of We Day that is mounted by the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien. Other speakers talked about ecology, protecting aboriginal culture, mental health, and disabilities. There was also music, dancing, and a parade of the various schools’ mascots, something that looks like it will become a highlight of the Journée.
France Lamarche, superintendent of education with the school board, says that there were 52 speakers altogether.
“We wanted an event that promoted our Catholic faith but also francophone culture,” she says.
Participants “were selected because they made a difference in their schools, their communities, and internationally,” she says.
MASCOT PARADE: The various mascots from schools in the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien pose during Journée CSDCEO...Unis celebrations at the Glengarry Sports Palace.