Robin Buchanan, a physical education specialist at Oromocto High School, was recently presented with the Para Sport & Recreation Award by Ability New Brunswick, a provincial non-profit organization dedicated to empowering mobility and independence for people living with disabilities.
Buchanan has been recognized as a champion for inclusive physical education, parallel sport and recreation, and for demonstrating leadership in making sure students with or without a disability can learn fundamental movement skills together.
"We are so very proud of him and are very fortunate to have him as part of our school community," said Darla Day, vice-principal at Oromocto High School. "He is very deserving of this award. He is an extremely valuable educator who fosters a positive, safe and effective classroom and physical education environment designed to promote learning for every student."
Within his teaching role, Buchanan has worked to secure school wellness grants as well as funding for an adaptive tricycle for a student with motor disabilities. He leads the school's annual Terry Fox event with a focus on inclusion for all students through the use of adaptive tricycles, wheelchairs and other equipment. He has partnered with Special Olympics for sports and activities, promoted para-sport activities in gym classes, spearheaded Disability Awareness Week in the school, and promoted inclusion professional learning opportunities for other teachers. Recently, he launched a Play Unified Basketball program in partnership with Special Olympics to bring students and teachers together to encourage and build positive relationships within the school community.
"As a physical education teacher, Robin believes in making sure his students know that no matter their ability there is the opportunity for them to be active throughout their lives," said Ross Campbell, subject coordinator for physical education and health for ASD-W. "He brings so much not only to Oromocto High School but to physical education teachers across the district through his leadership and his desire to continually improve his teaching. The passion he has is contagious and makes others around him strive to do better."
The Para Sport & Recreation Award is presented each year to an individual, group or organization that has made a significant contribution to parallel sport and recreation in New Brunswick in areas such as competition and achievement, program development, officiating or coaching.
Below is a photo of Robin Buchanan receiving his award from Ability New Brunswick.