By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The remarkable life of Chatham’s own Fergie Jenkins is about to become a teaching moment for students across Canada.
As part of the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame web-based education platform, four modules about the all-star pitcher’s achievements are being developed for the classroom.
Designed to inspire, the beyondthewin.ca project will be available to students free of charge.
According to Misty Kolozetti, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame vice-president of marketing, fund development and communications, it’s still early days for the initiative.
“We will be collaborating with Mr. Jenkins in the coming months to identify key messaging and lessons learned through sport that he would like to share in the program,” Kolozetti said, noting racial inequality may be part of the story if Jenkins chooses to share that aspect of his life.
“All education programming at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame contains the underlying theme of going beyond the win, which we define as reaching greatness in sports, while also doing good in the community,” Kolozetti said in an e-mail statement.
The project will feature several components including Q&A-style storytelling with video, interactive artefacts, movement breaks, physical literacy and community impact and legacy. It also includes cross-curricular connections relating to core subjects while supporting social emotional learning.
“We look forward to honouring Ferguson Jenkins as an incredible role model, amplifying his amazing story, and sharing the lessons learned from his remarkable journey with all Canadians,” Kolozetti said.
News of the new program comes on the heels of Jenkins’ 80th birthday Dec. 13, as well as the recent announcement the Hall of Famer will serve as honourary president of Chatham-Kent’s new professional baseball team.
Samantha Meredith, executive director-curator with the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum, said sharing Jenkins’ story with Canadian youth is “exciting news.
“Not only is it teaching sports history but it’s also teaching Black history, which is so often left out of curriculum and textbooks,” Meredith explained. “Fergie’s story is always one that youth take interest in when visiting the museum, so I think is will spark a lot of attention in the classroom.
“I really can’t wait to see a new generation learn and become fans of one of Canada’s most important sports figures.”
Meredith said the new program would assist local teachers who have had to develop curriculum about Jenkins on their own.