TRURO, NS — It was an almost indescribable feeling when I walked into the CEC gymnasium recently.
Along the walls where you enter are the faces and achievements of many outstanding former athletes, a very touching reflection on the school’s great sporting history. Upon entering the huge gym, it was a pleasure to talk shop with Athletic Director (AD) Marc Roberts.
One of the DA’s first questions was about those names on the doors to the equipment room next to his office. On one door, nicely printed, were the names of Bob Piers, Rick Kaupp, Bob Gibbs and Keith MacKenzie. The next door had the names of Chris Bernard, Scottie Annand and Mike MacKay inscribed.
“I realize none of these people did what they did for a personal reason,” said Roberts, of Truro. “It’s just something I wanted to do to remember them, to honor them. Those of us who teach physical education (phys-ed) at CEC, we all had these teachers when we were students at this school.
Roberts’ colleagues, who make up the physical education staff, include Shawn Wolfe, Jeff MacKinnon, Jason Williams, Kevin Hayden and newcomer Nigel Power.
“They are extremely hardworking, dedicated and passionate about physical education,” Roberts said. “Our jobs change somewhat over time, but the kids are always what it’s all about.”
Roberts noted the importance of all coaches.
“We continue in these times to try to find teacher-coaches at the CEC, but there is a change to rely on community coaches to be able to offer all that we offer. This is a change from previous years. »
As the conversation shifted to the school gym, Roberts said he wouldn’t trade that gym for another.
“Functionally you can’t beat what Keith (MacKenzie) designed, our gymnasium has two full-size cross-court basketball courts, like our courts. In addition, we have two well-spaced volleyball courts and eight well-spaced badminton courts Our entire community has reaped the rewards of Keith’s vision or plan.
Going forward, we talked about goals. At the top of the list, under School Sports Nova Scotia (SSNS)is Roberts’ desire to provide a school sports experience for CEC students.
“The part that takes time is trying to support our volunteer coaches,” Roberts said. “There are between 70 and 80 in total. Coaches who volunteer their time to help bring sport to students. I try to keep them informed and let them know that they are appreciated.
We discussed the protection of the administration and the director regarding travel and respect for school rules.
“We need to make sure students are eligible to play sports, they need to qualify academically. This job lets you jump, and then something else comes along.
Roberts explained that every Monday, to start the week, he sends out a weekly sports update from the CEC which is sent to all coaches and teachers in the school.
“That way it’s all clear on rosters, coaching staff and email addresses. It’s about having the link so students know their teachers are in the know. Keith (MacKenzie) and Bob (Piers) and Mike (MacKay) have all called it a “tradition of excellence”…I’m just trying to carry on.
Asked about his role in coaching school sports, the 15-year-old CEC AD said he coached the boy’s varsity basketball team, track and field and badminton.
“I also train athletes supported (Special Olympics)it’s a pretty special group to coach.
Speaking with Roberts, there was a sense of being close to the action. Some of the exciting topics discussed include winning 11 CEC provincial titles in the 2021-22 school year, female athlete of the year Jenna Adams – a multi-sport athlete – heading to the University of New Brunswick this fall where she will play volleyball, and Erik Hayden being named male athlete of the year. Erik will attend Acadia University and join the men’s basketball team.
Adams and Hayden also compete in the Canada Games this summer.
“I’m excited for these two kids,” Roberts said. “Jenna and Erik have been working for a long time to get where they are.”
Next week’s column – “The path to becoming CEC Sporting Director.” Indeed, Marc Roberts had an interesting career… _________________________________________________________
Worth Repeating is a weekly column chronicling stories from the past, life experiences and current events. If you have a column idea, contact Lyle at 902 673-2857.