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Wilfrid Laurier, Light House members run football drills with high school students

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Wilfrid Laurier football players and members of the Light House Adult Day Program at a Cambridge high school to run drills with the Alternative Continuum of Education (ACE) program.

Light House has been going to Laurier training camp for about seven years and wanted to bring the concept to high school students. This was the second year the event was held at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School.

"We thought, why not bring this to the high schools and really expand it out? So we tried it last year, and this is awesome. The students have been talking about it and the smiles on their faces and we showed up this year. So that's something they've been looking forward to all year," Kyle Craig, program director at Light House said.

The event meant to provide a fun and supportive environment for the students, with the assistance of ACE prep teachers.

"A lot of the skills and traits that people have in the ACE programs at the schools like adaptability, strength, perseverance, are also things you see a lot in football. So the collaboration and the blend of these two kind of communities together is just awesome on so many levels," Craig said.

Grade 12 students from the school’s leadership class organized the football activities for the day.

"It's really great just to see the students, because in school we don't really get to see our ACE students very much. They're kind of in their own classrooms, in their own gym times and stuff like that. So now it's nice to just have that connection moment with them," Selena Saini, a grade 12 leadership student at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School said.

Laurier and Light House did similar events with Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School and St. Mary’s High School this month. Laurier said being able to interact with both Light House and students in the ACE program is a great opportunity for everyone.

"It gives them great perspective. We always say that someone's toughest day is another person's best day, so you have to take that into perspective. Our players, they have fun with the kids. They run around. They have a lot of smiles on their faces," Michael Faulds, head football coach at Wilfrid Laurier University said. "The leadership group here at Jacob Hespeler is doing a fantastic job. They've got four stations set up and ultimately you just want to see smiles on people's faces. It's a beautiful weather day and we're having a lot of fun out here.”

Those participating said they really enjoyed the experience.

"I just love it," Jensen Bitna, a student in the ACE program at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School said. "I just had a good time.”

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