Students from both Tusarvik Elementary School and Tuugaalik High School took to the roads last month to keep the long-standing tradition of participating in the annual Terry Fox Run alive and well in Naujaat.

Tuugaalik High School Grade 9 student Andy Kopak leads a group of younger runners during the annual Terry Fox Run in Naujaat this past month. photo courtesy of Geoff Hoffe

Tuugaalik vice-principal Julia MacPherson said the Terry Fox Run has been a big event at the community schools for a long time.

She said the run was held at Tusarvik for many years when it was a kindergarten to Grade 12 school and there was never a question the long-standing tradition would be upheld when Tuugaalik opened.

“We had a lot of students from both schools take part again this year and we were also joined by some parents and guardians, as well as people from the RCMP, Northern and Co-op stores, and the health centre,” said MacPherson.

“The Terry Fox story has inspired a lot of Canadians and I find, in my community, many people are definitely becoming more educated on cancer and the negative effects smoking cigarettes or chewing snuff can have on your body.

“We have people in the community, including students in our schools, who have lost someone to cancer so, for them, the Terry Fox Run strikes a lot closer to home.”

Fox remains an iconic figure for many Naujaat students, despite the years that have passed since his heroic run across the country.

MacPherson said many Naujaat students are awestruck every year when a video about Fox is played at the school.

“They see Terry Fox in that video when he was alive, trying to do this amazing thing running on his artificial leg and the images still have quite the impact on some of them, because they’re also looking at what it looked like back in the 1980s,” she said, “and they’re looking at all the trees and the big highway in the video, and it all takes their attention.

“Then he (Fox) starts to talk about the money that he wanted to raise, and it’s still so compelling to watch no matter how many times you may have seen it.

“We have a really great sense of community in Naujaat and the Terry Fox Run really helps to bring a lot of people together.”