Bob Fitzsimmons (left) encourages Graeme Fugger during the 2012 Sardis Strongman event at Sardis secondary school.

Sardis Strongman alumni event takes different form in pandemic

The popular student event takes place as usual in early May, but the alumni event will be altered

The Sardis Strongman returns for a 23rd year at Sardis secondary school, tailored to fit these COVID times.

The student version will be largely unchanged and runs May 3-7.

Organizer Alison Fitzsimmons said students will compete over five days in five traditional tests of strength — the sled pull, sandbag shuttle, tire flip, sled push and farmer’s carry — and they are considering moving some of those events outside to accommodate larger crowds.

The deadline for students to register is Apr. 1 and Fitzsimmons said response so far has been great.

Where changes are coming is on the alumni side. For the past few years, Fitzsimmons has brought alums back to compete and contribute to the Bob Fitzsimmons Memorial Scholarship Fund. It was Alison’s husband Bob who ushered the Sardis Strongman into existence in 1999, and two deserving students win an award each year funded primarily by the alumni event.

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“Unfortunately we cannot host the Sardis Strongman Alumni Event this year,” she noted. “We are going to do something different to recognize our valued alumni and to continue to promote this long-standing community tradition.”

Fitzsimmons said they will be creating a video production of alums doing something in their ‘wheelhouse.’

“Anything they’re comfortable with and sort of experienced doing – in terms of exercise, physical activity,” she said. “They don’t even have to be good at it. Swimming. Running. Lifting. Hiking. Mountain climbing. Baseball. Golf. Hockey. The possibilities are endless.

“The request is out there for Strongman alums to send me a short clip, horizontal if possible, and once we have the clips, we will be creating this production to post online with a link attached where people can donate to the Bob Fitzsimmons Memorial Scholarship Fund.”

Clips need to be in by mid-April and can be sent by SMS message to Fitsimmons’ phone at 604-819-7782.

While people wait for the video and donation link to go online, shesaid donations can be made by emailing or calling her.

“My crew and I are excited to be able to move forward with Strongman this year,” Fitzsimmons said. “I think it could serve as a great way to finish off this strange school year on a positive, upbeat note.”

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