By Ottawa Sportspage, For Louis-Riel Rebelles
As Louis-Riel high school’s popular Sports-Study program continues to grow in size, so does its in-house transportation system, with a fourth bus now added to the fleet and ready to roll once the COVID crisis clears.
“It’s actually one of the really, really big parts of our program,” signals Louis-Riel Sports-Study Program Coordinator Ken Levesque, whose office features a large, colour-coded scheduling board to organize which bus goes where when. “Of course nowadays, we’ve kind of been forced to a standstill, but the transportation we normally offer opens up a lot of exceptional opportunities for our student-athletes.”
Few schools own their own busses or employ their own drivers, but it’s crucial for Louis-Riel in order to bring its athletes to various training sites. Some trips are short, like to nearby Blackburn Arena or École de danse Louise, though farther ski hills or golf courses are regular stops as well, in normal times.
The 16-to-24-seater busses are handy for travel to tournaments and provincial championships in many sports, for the Girls’ Basketball Academy’s games across Ontario, or for Exploratory Sports program outings to places like rock climbing or trampoline gyms.
Costs are greatly reduced for academic field trips (to museums, university labs and plays, for example), and transportation is included as part of the Sports-Study/Exploratory Sports programs.
“It’s a big money-saver for our students and for our parents,” notes Levesque, who estimates the school would pay four times as much to rent busses (if it were even possible to book them when needed).
On top of the practical value the in-house busses provide, it’s a spirit-booster too, he adds.
“When the kids arrive at another school or the rink or wherever, it really gives them a sense of pride to have their own bus, with their team name and logo on it,” Levesque highlights. “They’re really proud to get off the bus together, and it gives a little feeling of professionalism too.”
But it’s not the student-athletes who are the biggest fans of the in-house bus service – that would be their parents. Daytime training and less time spent rushing around ultimately means more quality family time outside of school/work hours.
“Oh my goodness, the parents just love it,” Levesque underlines. “It’s one less hassle for them. They don’t have to leave work to go to school and pick up their son or daughter to bring them to train at their sports club or wherever. For them, it’s life-changing actually.”
Learn more about the Louis-Riel Sports-Study Program and available streams at: https://sportsottawa.com/2020/02/20/louis-riel-sports/