Conference Highlights

SExT: Sex Education by Theatre: October 12, 4:45pm

Ophea in partnership with Shira Taylor present SExT, a show created and performed by youth that covers a range of concepts related to sexual health education.

Created by PhD candidate Shira Taylor at the University of Toronto, SExT began as a program that used theatre as a platform to empower youth to reflect on, challenge, and communicate their realities on issues related to sex education and teen wellness. Students were recruited from Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute and were given a safe space to address issues identified within their communities including safer sex, mental health, gender roles and women’s attire, barriers to testing, consent, healthy relationships, racism, homophobia, and cyberbullying. What resulted was an entertaining and powerful compilation of sketches, songs, raps, poems and dances that earned a Best Ensemble Award, Critics Pick, and a -NNNN review from Now Magazine.

SExT is founded on a peer-educator model. The cast is comprised of diverse students and high school graduates who are ready to engage in discussion and to leave audiences reconsidering any preconceptions of diversity and sexuality.

Join us in the Theatre for this powerful performance! View the SExT trailer.

Run/Walk sponsored by Kids’ Run Club: October 13, 6:30am

Bring your running shoes and come out to an early morning run/walk sponsored by Kids’ Run Club, brought to you by Ontario Doctors! Participants can choose to run (approx 4km) or walk (approx 30min) alongside volunteers through Niagara Falls, stopping along the way for a few quick photos of the Falls. All participants will receive an Ophea prize package and information about this program!

Please meet at 6:30 sharp in the lobby of the Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel & Suites. The run/walk will last approximately 30min and end back at the Hilton.

This event encourages individuals of all abilities to come out and participate! Join in to get active, meet colleagues, and have fun!

Keynote Address -Is H&PE Ready to Graduate from the Kids Table to the Adult Table? October 13, 8:30am

For far too long, Health and Physical Education (H&PE) has been relegated to sit at the kids table eating from paper plates using plastic cutlery while its older siblings from Science, Math, and Language Arts sit at the adult table where they eat their family meals from the good china using the polished silverware. While some may argue that H&PE is just “fun and games” and not a “real academic subject”, recent position statements from grownups like the United Nations highlight that a Quality Physical Education program can lead to not only lifelong participation in physical activity, but also significantly contribute to the development of: life skills; responsible and active citizens; skills and values to solve 21st century challenges; and, physically literate students. Investing in H&PE can help to make our world a better place to live; and there is no better investment than in those who teach H&PE. Participating in professional development opportunities such as the annual Ophea Conference is an important part of ensuring that our profession grows and adapts to meet the needs of the learners of today. This short session to kick off the Ophea Conference will help to “set the table” for a day of learning, professional reflection, and inspiration towards the future.