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Program Info

BEAP – A Day in the Life

Birchmount Exceptional Athlete Program History
The Birchmount Park Exceptional Athlete Program began in September 1989.
The seed, however, was planted in 1982. Ivan Pintaric, a former Olympic discus thrower and Canada’s throwing coach for four Olympic Games, envisioned a high school that would physically train young talented and motivated athletes,
while providing strong academic challenges. After seven years of planning, presenting and debating the concept, the Scarborough Board of Education gave its blessing for the program, to be housed at Birchmount Park C.I. academic challenges. After seven years of planning, presenting and debating the concept, the Scarborough Board of Education gave its blessing for the program, to be housed at Birchmount Park C.I.

The doors opened to thirty-eight athletes in September of 1989 and the program currently has an enrollment of over 200 students in grades 9 - 12 inclusive. Throughout the years, over 30 different sports have been represented by students in the program.


Eligibility to Apply

Interested Grade 8 students who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply to the Birchmount Exceptional Athlete Program (BEAP):

  • Are self-motivated and willing to do the extra physical and academic work needed to excel in sport and educational pursuits.
  • Are competing towards a provincial championship or higher, outside of school, individually or as a member of a team
  • Have a minimum average of 60% in the following subjects: English, French, Math, Science, History or Geography and Physical Education
  • Have no multiple N’s in the learning skills category of the report card.

Frequently Asked Questions



HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE PROGRAM?
  • Student athletes that are currently working with a coach outside of the regular elementary or high school athletic programs are eligible to apply. Athletes must be working towards a provincial championship or higher.
  • Student athletes must have a 60% average in the following subjects: English, French, Math, Science, History or Geography and Physical Education, and no multiple N’s in the learning skills category of the report card.
MUST AN ATHLETE BE CARDED BY SPORT CANADA OR THE MINISTRY OF SPORT & RECREATION?
  • No – some of our athletes are funded by these sports bodies, but the majority is individuals working towards provincial or national championships independently.
  • The reason we selected the term: “Exceptional” rather than “Elite” when referring to student athletes in the program is because the program is designed to expose athletes to the quality and quantity of fundamental training needed to reach their full potential.
HOW DOES ONE APPLY TO THE PROGRAM?
Note: Applications are available in November and applicants must use current application forms. Application Forms can be obtained:
  • At Grade 8 Parents’ Night in November (check our Events Calendar for date and time).
  • Or from our Guidance Department
  • Or download it from our website www.schools.tdsb.on.ca/birchmount

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I SUBMIT MY APPLICATION?
All applicants will receive a letter. Qualifying applicants will be invited for testing (Phase II).

WHAT IS A TYPICAL TIMETABLE FOR A STUDENT ATHLETE?
  • Birchmount Park C.I. is similar to all other high schools in Toronto. A student athlete will attend his/her academic classes with the general school population, but will be timetabled with the BEAP teachers for their physical education class.
  • BEAP teachers are responsible for the design and implementation of the physical education program.
  • Student athletes work both in groups and independently throughout the school year.
  • The program also monitors the academic progress of each student and there is a guidance counsellor assigned to the exceptional athlete program.
HOW DO I STAY IN THE PROGRAM?
  • Once you are in the program you must continue to obtain 70% or greater in your BEAP course(s); maintain an overall average of 60%; and be a good ambassador of Birchmount Park in all other subject areas and activities.
  • You do not have to reapply every year. A Review Committee will review academic and behaviour progress of all BEAP students at the end of each semester.
CAN I COMPETE ON A BIRCHMOUNT TEAM?
Eligibility for Students in Exceptional/Elite Athlete Programs (TDSSAA Constitution, June 2005) For all students entering a TDSB exceptional/elite athlete program, the following regulations shall apply:
a)    i. All students entering an exceptional/elite athlete program in grade 9 from outside the designated school area will be eligible to compete in any sport except their declared or designated area of specialty, with the exception of Track & Field, Cross-Country, and Swimming. ii. The declared or designated area of specialty will be the sport played at the highest level as determined on the student’s application.
b)    i. Students transferring into an exceptional/elite athlete program after grade 9 from another school will be ineligible for one year, subject to the transfer policy. ii. Students who remain outside the designated school area will follow the exceptional/elite athlete regulations as stated in “a) i, ii.”
c)    If a student who lives in the designated school area enters the exceptional/elite athlete program at their home school, that athlete is eligible to compete in all sports at their school.
d)    In the following individual sports, Track & Field, Cross-Country, and Swimming, exceptional/elite program athletes from outside the designated school area can compete and win individual awards but will not score points for their school toward team standings in these events.

WHAT TRAINING FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE?
  • Birchmount Park C.I. has a well-equipped weight room, three gymnasiums, 3 ball diamonds, tennis courts, soccer pitch, and a stadium for soccer, football and track and field.
  • The exceptional athlete program also has access to Variety Village during class time. This allows us to train on a 200 metre indoor track, and enjoy an Olympic size swimming pool. BEAP students are required to purchase a Variety Village membership – at a reduced rate.
WHEN DO STUDENT ATHLETES PERFORM THEIR SPORT?
  • Each student athlete is attached to a coach outside of school who instructs in the technical portion of their specific sport.
  • The student athlete performs his/her dry land training at school in the special physical education class.
  • This format allows the student athlete 110 additional hours of fundamental training designed to enhance sport performance.