Torch - Fall 2016

There’s different unique parts of a person, and one of mine is karate.

—Kaitlyn Daley, Grade 4

Kaitlyn Daley demonstrates her karate stance.

pink when she talks about karate; for her, the joy of engaging in the practice and especially sharing it with other girls at Havergal can bring tears to her eyes. She says karate gives her confidence because it has become such a part of her identity. “There’s different unique parts of a person, and one of mine is karate,” says Daley. At the other end of the school spectrum in a different sport, Talia Ng is another student who impresses with her low-key confidence. Well, not that low key, considering that she’s already won a gold medal in badminton at the 2015 Junior Pan Am games (her medal is now part of the flat lay) and plans to take a year off after graduation to train for the 2020 Olympics. Currently in Grade 10, Ng plays field hockey and will start coaching Grades 7 and 8 in badminton in the new year. She started playing competitively at age nine and now trains six days a week at the E Badminton Club in Markham, Ontario. In 2017, Ng hopes to return to the Junior Pan Am games (to be held in Toronto) and qualify for the World Juniors. Asked the big question about confidence, Ng pauses to reflect. She says that the sense of community she found at Havergal

without talking to the girls who inspired it, who are trying to find it in today’s increasingly connected and complex world. So what does confidence mean to the Havergalians living and breathing girlhood right now? Ask Kaitlyn Daley, for example. A Grade 4 student, Daley started at Havergal in Junior Kindergarten. Her favourite subject is math, her favourite books are fantasy fiction (she’s currently reading the fourth Harry Potter novel) and she’s getting a kick out of re-programming the early game Pong in the Junior School Video Game Club. But her first love is karate, which is why she decided to started a Karate Club in the Junior School that she helps lead with her dad. Starting the martial art at age three, she already has her Advanced Brown Belt and hopes to achieve her Black Belt this year. But she does it for more than just the belts. “I do karate because if I’m having a bad day, it’ll just calm me down. Karate, to me, is about doing your best every time, trying to be even better than your last class,” says Daley. She even inspired her dad, who followed her into the martial art. So did her five- year-old sister. Daley’s face turns bright

where they already hang out. So the first two elements of the campaign happened online, through a YouTube video and a flat lay translated into Instagram shorts. While each follows a big concept, they also stand out because they involve the girls directly (see sidebars) . #RealGirlThings is Havergal’s creation, a reflection of the overall campaign ethos. “Real Girl Things isn’t about the perfect presentation of girls. It’s about passions,” says Mirabelli. “What we’re attempting to do is broaden the scope of what is considered a girl thing. Hopefully in doing that we illustrate the confidence that’s inside all of these young women,” adds Litzinger. Mirabelli is hopeful that the campaign will not only boost confidence in Havergal girls, but also become a talking point more generally. “It’s a platform for people to share ideas and content about what it means to be female in this day and age. It started here, but I really believe it can be a platform for larger conversations outside and beyond the ivy walls of the school.” So that’s the campaign. But surely a discussion about confidence isn’t complete Finally, it’s all about the hashtag. While #GirlThings already existed,


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