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Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame: Never Give Up

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) received the 2022 CASH Award of Excellence for their education program Never Give Up. The CASH Award of Excellence Selection Committee noted the ingenuity of adapting an in-person program for virtual delivery which allowed them to reach many more students than previously possible.

Never Give Up is an education program targeting at-risk students in Grades 4-8 which focuses on answering the question: what makes a person a “hero?” By discussing the concept of a hero, Never Give Up allows the students to understand that heroes are different for everyone and often they take the form of positive role models throughout each person’s community. Never Give Up is administered virtually and involves Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (SSHF) inductees who have overcome obstacles and hardships in order to achieve their own personal goals in sport and life. They truly understand the importance of never giving up, having the support of positive role models throughout life, and serving as mentors for those who follow them. The students benefitting from this program represent a range of diverse life experiences and thus, so too do the presenters who currently include war refugees, amputees, and Paralympians.


Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame staff on the impact of the exhibit:

"Created in 2011 as a one-off in-person outreach presentation, Never Give Up really hit its stride in 2021 when Covid-19 required that all education programming be conducted virtually. Where previously we would have been limited by budget realities related to provincial travel costs, suddenly this was not a factor. We could fully engage our organizational mission and had the potential and opportunity to involve the entire province.

Over the course of 24 sessions (six weeks in May/June and six weeks in October/November), the program reached 35 different communities and a total of 2,047 participants. Virtual delivery allowed us to reach corners of the province that would have been unattainable to us, or we to them, if it had been required to host the program in person. Similarly, virtual implementation meant that our inductee presenters only needed to make a one-hour commitment which allowed us to develop and involve a more diverse group of speakers.

Promotion of, and participation in, Never Give Up has resulted in a broader awareness of the SSHF and its programs throughout the province. We have seen a significant bounce rate in classrooms from throughout Saskatchewan choosing to participate in other virtual opportunities offered by the SSHF, as well as reserving in-house tours. The inductee presenters have also worked to make Never Give Up a more personal commitment with several of them reaching out to individual at-risk students who might need additional support during a challenging time and serving as direct mentors."

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