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June 30, 2017
Athletics Champs Show Their Talent
It has been a stellar spring for Branksome Athletics. The Junior Softball team earned a silver medal at their championships, while U13 Softball placed first. Several Senior Track & Field athletes advanced to the Metro Finals.

Our U13 Tennis team was victorious, placing first in their final tournament, while our golf team won the CISAA Golf Championships for the first time in Branksome's history!

Astrid Ling was an excellent ambassador for Branksome when she participated at the OFSAA Badminton Championships in May, playing mixed doubles with her partner from Royal St. George's College.

The Rowing team finished off their amazing season with two bronze, one silver and three gold medals at the national championships. Reflecting on the rowers' success, Coach Scott Fleming said: "It was most rewarding to watch the girls really learn from each race."

What accounts for this many tournament wins? We asked Director of Athletics, Katie Flynn, to give us some insight:

Ms Flynn believes that dedication is essential for our athletes to make those 7:00 a.m. Softball practices. "We've had dedicated participants on both the U12 and U13 Softball teams as well as dedicated and invested coaches," says Ms Flynn.

One of the keys to Branksome's successful Softball program is that U12 focuses on teaching the basics like throwing, hitting and rules, whereas the focus in U13 is on strategy. "We have lots of natural athleticism in the Middle School this year," says Ms Flynn. "But their ultimate achievement is their keenness to be with, and support, their peers. It's given both teams a boost."

A key strength for the Tennis team is that it included several already-accomplished players. "Their experience allowed them to naturally mentor new players," says Ms Flynn. "This year we had a nice mix of old and new players who could learn from each other."

Ms Flynn attributes Branksome's historic golf win this year to the mutual support between Ashley Chow and Olivia Wilkie. "Ashley took Olivia under her wing," said Ms Flynn.

"Golf requires a lot of integrity and focus," adds Ms Flynn. "Players have to show respect for the course, the rules of the game and their opponents. Ashley and Olivia meet these challenges."

Ms Flynn hopes that more girls will come out to play golf. "It is a niche for young women and a lifelong sport."

Ms Flynn intends to continue aligning Branksome's Athletics Program with the Long Term Athlete Development Model. This model, embraced by the Conference of Independent Schools Athletics Association (CISAA), develops healthy and successful athletes by training the young person to play for life. The focus is on teaching "FUNdamental" skills before introducing students to competition. "The program is in a really great place," says Ms Flynn.

Congratulations, Ms Flynn, the entire coaching staff and all of our athletes for an outstanding spring season.

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