Andre De Grasse presents Kids Help Phone with $25k cheque at Father Michael McGivney CA

Six-time Olympic medallist, Andre De Grasse returns to his former high school, Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy

Six-time Olympic medallist, Andre De Grasse, returned to his former high school, Father Michael McGivney CA on September 23rd as part of a special event that recognized co-creators of his Race with Me Virtual Challenge, which many students at the Markham school participated in last spring. 

At the start of 2021, 14-year-old Montrealer, Jesse Briscoe was frustrated by the cancellation of his sports clubs and was getting tired of sitting and playing video games. Jesse was inspired by the incredible track performance of De Grasse and his mission to inspire young Canadians to get moving. Along with his father, the Briscoe family co-created the Race with Me Virtual Challenge and worked with Andre De Grasse and his foundation to get kids back on track.

Andre and Bev DeGrasse with Jesse and Rob Briscoe and Stacia Vong-Hogeterp of KHP

When students and staff at Father Michael McGivney CA learned of the virtual challenge last spring, they got onboard, and many of the school’s students participated in the 8-week event, which encouraged youth to run track weekly while also generating awareness of the importance of physical activity and youth mental health, in support of Kids Help Phone.

Students and staff at Father Michael McGivney were particularly inspired by Andre De Grasse as he is a former student at the school!  On September 23rd, there was a cheque presentation to Kids Help Phone with a donation of $25,000 that was realized from the Race With Me Virtual Challenge. Many special guests attended the cheque presentation, including the following people who spoke to an audience made up of media, students, staff and supporters:

Andre takes selfies with students
  • Dominic Mazzotta, Chair, York Catholic District School Board 
  • Helene Manning, Chair of Athletics Canada
  • Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of Markham
  • Jesse and Rob Briscoe, Co-creators, Race with Me Virtual Challenge 
  • Katherine Hay, President and CEO of Kids Help Phone
  • Domenic Scuglia, Director of Education, York Catholic District School Board
  • Gavin Machado, Student, Father Michael McGivney CA
  • Ayodele Bygrave, Physical Education Teacher, Father Michael McGivney CA
  • and Andre De Grasse, himself!

Before the official presentation, Andre and his mother Beverely, were greeted by approximately 300 Father Michael McGivney students and staff who gave him a heroes’ welcome home.

A special thanks goes to student emcees for the event, Jada Hunter and Sukh Thukral!

Watch a video of Andre De Grasse reflecting on his days at McGivney

FMM Students ready to welcome Andre back
Students with signs to welcome Andre
Students waiting outside of the school for Andre to arrive
McGivney students waiting for Andre to arrive
McGivney Magic Mascot and students
FMM students ready to welcome Andre
Andre waving to student and staff
Andre walks by the front entrance of his former school
Andre with school principal and superintedent
Emcees Jada Hunter and Sukh Thukral
Andre and Bev DeGrasse with Jesse and Rob Briscoe and Stacia Hogeterp of KHP
Andre and his mom present cheque to Kids Help Phone CEO
Cheque presentation with Andre, students and special guests
Andre talks about mental health
Andre speaks about his time at McGivney
YCDSB Director speaks about the impact of school sports
Rob Briscoe speaks about parenting during the pandemic
Jesse Briscoe speaks about Andre’s influence
Andre with YCDSB team and Markham Mayor
Andre with YCDSB Chair
Andre and RWM students and principal
Andre takes selfies with students