OCIA-PE sportsmanship initiative starts island-wide video competition
The Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability (OCIA) Physical Education (PE) Department is implementing a sportsmanship initiative with an island-wide video competition, open to students ages 11-17. The goal of the video competition is to have student athletes create a short 5-8 minute video promoting values of sportsmanship and fair play. The videos entries will be judged in a Junior Division for grades 6-8 and a Secondary Division for grades 9-12.
“So far, the OCIA-PE Staff have met with school principals and PE teachers from a number of schools on the West Side and have started to deliver competition information packages to schools on the East Side of the island and will work to the Central District in the next couple of weeks,” said OCIA-PE Coordinator Clayton Mahuka.
According to Mahuka, the pressure of on student athletes to perform and win can lead to problems, such as unruly fans who harass officials and coaches. Other problems, stated Mahuka, occur on the field when athletes who want to win at all costs start fights and defeat the whole purpose of sports as a venue to have fun and learn the values of teamwork and fair play.
Mahuka went on to say that the goal of the sportsmanship is to work with the kids to teach them that what they need to learn from competitive sports, is that sports are supposed to be enjoyable, fun and about doing your best. “If you win, it is great, but good sportsmanship means not to gloat to your opponent.”
“Most of the time, athletes of all ages have high expectations and the pressure from parents and coaches to win at all costs. Failure starts before the play when this happens. When athletes do not meet these expectations, they are hard on themselves and this impacts confidence and performance and ultimately the kids show this with their attitude on the field and it does not help when fans do the same,” said Mahuka. He also stated that it is more important for players to learn to look at mistakes as a way to grow and learn. “Kids that take mistakes in stride bounce back, move on and probably win,” he said.
Mahuka said that this issue came up the teachers orientation (August 2012) when he did workshops with elementary and high school teachers and principals where the ASDOE-PE discussed and addressed the issues of Fair Play’ and ‘Poor Sportsmanship’ especially at the elementary level before the kids go into high school sports where this issue becomes a much bigger problem, according to Mahuka.
All entries must be saved on a CD that is labeled with a title, name, grade of student and name of school. The video must be dropped off at the OCIA-PE Office no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday April 1. For more information on the details of the video call the office at 699-6521 and ask for Mahuka or Valusia Talataina, or email Mahuka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a similar program in the United States called, ‘National Sportsmanship Day’ that was founded by the Institute for International Sport, back in 1991. According to their website, www.internationalsport.org, a key goal of the Institute of International Sport is to cull ideas on the issue of non-violence in sport.
The next National Sportsmanship Day will be Tuesday, March 5, 2013. In September, the institute will make a formal presentation to thousands of schools throughout the United States on how to best use the 2013-2014 school year to develop a culture of non-violence through sports.
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