When it comes to sports, Greater Napanee has always found a way to punch above its weight class.
Much of that was by necessity-athletes growing up in a small town don’t always have the same resources available to them as those from bigger centres. Then there’s the simple mathematics of it all-cities with a bigger population will naturally have more athletes to choose from when whittling down their roster.
Keeping all of that in mind helps to put into perspective just how impressive the winter season has been for the Napanee District Secondary School Golden Hawks.
A Golden Hawks team or individual athlete capturing a KASSAA title or even an EOSSAA title and qualifying for OFSAA isn’t all that uncommon. But never in this reporter’s tenure covering local sports has there been this many athletic highlights all within a two or three week span. Quality and quantity. From wrestling, to hockey, to curling, to swimming, to skiing and snowboarding, Napanee has had major successes in all of them over the last month. And that’s not to even mention the junior girls volleyball team, which not only claimed the school’s first volleyball KASSAA title, but then went on to go undefeated at EOSSAA, losing only one set the entire tournament.
Each of these clubs has found a way to work around some of the automatic disadvantages that come with being an athlete in a small town. Rather than make excuses, they’ve simply worked harder to develop their game that puts them on equal footing with those of their Kingston-based opponents. That’s a credit to both the athletes and the volunteer coaches who put in the time after school to get better. They all deserve recognition and have given our town many reasons to be proud.
-Yesterday was International Women’s Day, an annual event that admittedly wasn’t one this reporter took a lot of note of until recently.
The civil awareness day took on a whole new meaning about six years ago when this writer became a proud father of a daughter. About four and a half years later, a second daughter was welcomed.
There will be issues and challenges they face that will be hard to comprehend from this perspective. But one thing is for sure, being responsible for the upbringing of two daughters can be a real eye-opener to a whole different set of expectations and pressures that girls of all ages experience. The hit song by Jax known as Victoria’s Secret-an anthem to body positivity while calling out mainstream advertising targeting pre-teens-certainly hits home in a way it never would have before.
As fortunate as most people reading this are to live in Canada, the last year has shown us how quickly women’s rights can be taken away in the form of anti-abortion legislation being passed in the U.S. Events like that serve as a reminder as to why it’s important for all genders to advocate for the rights of women and to never take them for granted.