Frank Hayden didn’t think he had a chance of carrying the Olympic torch across Nova Scotia when he entered an RBC contest.
Well, he was wrong.
Yesterday, the 46-year-old was announced as the first person from the Halifax Regional Municipality selected to be a part of the 200-kilometre run around the province as part of a cross-Canada torch relay leading to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The principal at the P-9 Bicentennial School in Dartmouth had some of his students alongside him when RBC announced him as a torchbearer at their branch on Portland Street in Dartmouth.
“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the students,” he said. “When (RBC) told me to come down to accept this, I said I need to bring students with me because it’s all about them.”
Hayden’s career as an educator spans 22 years and nine different schools. He also has four university degrees, so learning has been a way of life for the Dartmouth native.
“We weren’t the richest kids in the world – both of my folks never finished high school,” he said. “But they both saw to it that all four of their kids would go to university.”
One of Hayden’s goals as torchbearer is to ensure that all children in the school system receive proper nutrition. He will be starting a school food bank so children at Bicentennial never have to learn on an empty stomach.