The Jared Connaughton fan club is growing.
Twelve youth from the Campus Kids Child Care Centre held a ceremony at the UPEI track Tuesday morning.
They marched in and staged their own opening ceremonies before running the track in support of the New Haven Olympic sprinter.
“They are really Jared Connaughton fans,” said Lynn Hogan, owner/operator. “They really took an interest in Jared because he was from P.E.I.”
The youth made torches, medals, banners and signs as they learned more about the Olympics and Connaughton.
Hogan said it was a great opportunity for the centre to teach the kids about dedication.
“We really want to tell these children that they can do things. With a little bit of hard work anything is possible. Just because we’re from little P.E.I., they can still dream big.”
After the Campus Kids did their lap, youth from the Panthers Camp took to the track. Zack O’Meara is ready to cheer on Connaughton at the Olympics.
“I think he’ll get a bronze medal,” he said after running his lap.
Connaughton’s parents Neal and Susan were in attendance to watch the ceremony.
We really want to tell these children that they can do things. With a little bit of hard work anything is possible. - Lynn Hogan, Campus Kids Child Care Centre owner/operator
“What we really want to see is the kids being inspired,” Neal said. “It’s the most important thing.”
The support for the two-time Olympian has grown during the past few weeks as his first run approaches Aug. 7.
“He appreciates the support from his home province,” Neal said.
Hogan would like to see other day cares hold similar events.
“Embrace this opportunity that we have to inspire our young Islanders and have a Jared day,” she said.