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James Allum, MLA Fort Garry - Riverview
May 16, 2013

Reach for the Top: Vincent Massey Collegiate

Mr. Speaker, today I want to share some exciting news about a superb accomplishment by a group of young people in Fort Garry-Riverview. The Vincent Massey Collegiate Reach for the Top team won the Silver Medal at the recent provincial tournament and has qualified for the Reach for the Top National Championship to be held in Toronto next week.

Reach for the Top is an academic competition that began over fifty years ago as a CBC game show. As a kid growing up in southern Ontario, my family routinely watched Reach for the Top when none other than Alex Trebek, now of Jeopardy fame, hosted the program. I knew from a very young age, Mr. Speaker, that Reach for the Top exceeded my own academic grasp and that answering “snappers” was best left to others, and so I am doubly pleased to acknowledge today the tremendous efforts of the Vincent Massey team.

As members will know, Reach for the Top involves teams of high school students competing against one another answering questions on a variety of difficult subjects. Each year several hundred teams from across Canada face off against each other at the league level, the provincial level, and finally, the national level with ultimate goal to win the National Championship trophy.

Reach for the Top requires more than just knowledge, Mr. Speaker, but also speed, strategy, discipline, and commitment. The Vincent Massey team has practiced hard to get this far and their hard work has been justly rewarded. The Manitoba region had over 30 teams competing this year, and Vincent Massey went into the provincial championship with an astonishing, undefeated season record of 17 to 0. They will now represent Manitoba and compete against other provinces to become national champions. By participating in this national competition, the Vincent Massey team are engaging in nation-building by cultivating the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and relationships that young people need to become active and engaged citizens in Canadian society.

I want to congratulate the Reach for the Top team, Elsie Tellier, Kieran Labossiere, Kiersten McLeod, William Harrison, Charlie Grimshaw and Mike Bagamery; as well as their coaches Dr. Marshall Carroll, Mr. Terry Klapak and Mr. Martin Balcaen for this incredible accomplishment. I ask all honourable members to join me in celebrating what they have achieved and in wishing them the very best of luck in Toronto next weekend.

Thank you.