Olympic Hero Speaks to Youth

Photo of the blog author By Superintendent Sam Fernandes,
Toronto Police Service
Published: 11:58 a.m. February 10, 2014

In recognition of Black History Month, officers from the 32 Division Community Response Unit coordinated a special guest speaker at the Lawrence Heights Community Centre.

Men in Toronto Police uniform stand in a group with women and kids
(Left to Right) Constables Jason Fenton and Neil Belland, Sergeant Randall Lee, Perdita Felicien and Constable Ricardo Burke with staff and kids from the Lawrence Heights Community Centre

Perdita Felicien, who has been a world record holder and Canadian Olympic Hurdler and is of St. Lucian heritage, engaged the large youth group in attendance and shared her inspiring story. 

Constable Ricardo Burke, of the 32 Division Community Response Unit, is a longtime friend of Perdita and felt it was important that the kids hear the story of one of Canada’s true Olympic heroes. 

Perdita’s message was strong and echoed this year’s theme: “The Power of Choice”. Perdita encouraged the audience to “ make the right choices, keep trying your best,  always believe in yourself and you can achieve anything”. 

Perdita has been described as a pioneer in Canadian sports for being the first Canadian woman to ever win a medal at World Track and Field Championships.  This message resonated with the  audience and left them feeling empowered and inspired, especially with the young women in the audience.

The Toronto Police Service has been celebrating Black History Month in partnership with the community since 1994. This is just another great example of the Service’s commitment to that continued partnership. 

Thank you Perdita for being such an influential role model for todays’ youth.

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