High school athlete helps visually impaired junior pursue physical-ed

Published: December 24, 2013

Aldergrove Community’s Mehala Breederland (right) helps visually-impaired student Harjinder Kaur Saran on PE class. PNG photo.


SURREY — High school is a place to a learn multitude of lessons, but sometimes its best classes aren’t the ones that offer field trips or even issue final grades.

And sometimes, if you’re willing to veer off the beaten path of the core curriculum, like Mehala Breederland elected to do this past September, the end result is an experience no text book is capable of providing.

“I had a mix-up with my schedule and I didn’t want to take a spare,” the Grade 11 student-athlete at Aldergrove Community School explains, “but now I am so thankful.”

That’s because when it was explained to her that one of the school’s visually-impaired students, ninth grader Harjinder Kaur Saran, needed assistance in the pursuit of her phys-ed credit, Breederland knew immediately that she was answering a calling.

“With all of the time we spend together, and just getting to know her so much better, I can at least start to understand what it is like to be blind,” says Breederland, who this past fall played for the Totems senior varsity volleyball team, and will play for its soccer team in the spring. “But also, you begin to understand a lot more in the social sense as well. I might notice that she is not hanging around with anyone at lunch, so we’ll have lunch together. I am even starting to learn braille, but it’s pretty difficult.”

Yet if you ask Breederland, she’ll tell you that the act of volunteering always has its way of giving back, and in ways that go beyond anything tangible. And at her school, she’s made some pretty big fans.

“She’s one of the most giving students I have ever met,” says Stuart Crowley, a teacher at the school. “She is incredibly selfless.”

Since the age of 11, Breederland has been a mainstay at her church, helping with a kids program, and with its 11 a.m. Sunday pancake breakfasts.

“We serve anyone who walks through the front door,” she says.

And it doesn’t stop there.

She’s a Big Sister to an area third grader, and she just finished a seven-week group mentoring program for Grade 6 girls.

“We really focused on a healthy lifestyle and body image stuff,” she says.

There is still one more year of high school remaining for her, but after that, she thinks, a post-secondary career geared towards becoming an occupational therapist, is likely in the cards.

Whatever she winds up doing, she knows she will be helping. That’s something she can’t help but do.

Related Stories:

Tags: , , , , , , ,



Stricken by her mom’s death, Sikh filmmaker learns ‘to keep moving forward’

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Vancouver filmmaker Baljit Sangra’s mother suddenly died after being struck by a car, Sangra was so devastated that she wanted…
Continue Reading »

Parliament hill

Dosanjh: We must criminalize glorification, encouragement of terrorism

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Canada is no stranger to terrorism. Nonetheless what has happened in the heart of our capital on the heels…
Continue Reading »

Royal Wedding

Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Kendra Salwa Spears expecting their first child

VANCOUVER DESI The Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Princess Salwa (Kendra Salwa Spears) are expecting their first child, the spiritual leader…
Continue Reading »



Stricken by her mom’s death, Sikh filmmaker learns ‘to keep moving forward’

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Vancouver filmmaker Baljit Sangra’s mother suddenly died after being struck by a car, Sangra was so devastated that she wanted…
Continue Reading »


Surrey mayoral candidates share city visions at first meeting

AMY REID VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Surrey mayoral candidates met for the city’s first all-candidates meeting Thursday night at SFU. Six of the seven candidates…
Continue Reading »


Surrey MP Nina Grewal’s account of the shootout in Ottawa

NINA GREWAL SPECIAL TO IANS  When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking at about 9.30 a.m. Wednesday in a caucus room of parliament, we…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

student dead

Two dead, including gunman, in school shooting north of Seattle

DOUG ESSER THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria north of Seattle on Friday, killing at least…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooter kicked out of Burnaby mosque two years ago

Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to leave the mosque, because he had “gotten a hold of keys and stuff from the mosque, and when he got out…
Continue Reading »

labour laws violation

U.S. company penalized for mistreatment of Indian employees working 122 hours in a week

MICHAEL LIEDTKE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN FRANCISCO – A Silicon Valley company is paying more than $43,000 in back wages and penalties after labour regulators…
Continue Reading »


Surrey soccer captain played the U-18 national club championship using only one foot

KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW SOUTH SURREY – Kyle Sohi’s perseverance and performance in the 2014 Sport Chek National Club Championships U-18 Cup Final might go…
Continue Reading »


Barinder Rasode announces plan to develop field hockey pitch in Surrey

Third field at Tamanawis Park would cost approximately $3 million KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW NEWTON – Barinder Rasode and the One Surrey team were at…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood Latest

Stan Lee-Bollywood

Stan Lee plans Bollywood film on his first Indian superhero

VANCOUVER DESI Stan Lee, the legendary ‘Spiderman’ creator, is reportedly planning his Bollywood entry with a film on his Indian superhero character ‘Chakra: the Invincible’….
Continue Reading »


Even my parents think I am weird, says Bollywood ‘Queen’ Kangana Ranaut

HINDUSTAN TIMES Kangana Ranaut has always made unconventional choices, be it her movies or the way she dresses. And the actor says she’s happy the…
Continue Reading »

Happy New Year-Bollywood

Happy New Year: Mandatory ‘formula’ and all those old Bollywood references

HINDUSTAN TIMES Film: Happy New Year Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah, Jackie Shroff Director: Farah Khan…
Continue Reading »