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Teach Our Children Sportsmanship By Example

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Track and field season here in St.Kitts-Nevis and in other countries generally creates an atmosphere of encouragement and support for our children.

A recent episode at a sporting event for primary school athletes unfortunately set a different tone; not by the children but by some of the parents who apparently were in verbal disagreement with accusations of cheating which created quite a stir of public debate.

It is one thing to fight battles for our children when we feel that they have been wronged but it is also quite contrary when parents display poor behaviour when our children are looking on. After all, parents/guardians are seen generally as role models for our children which means positive teachable moments for our future leaders must be displayed and encouraged at all times.

We all know that children are like sponges in soaking up behaviours they witness whether positive or negative. Hence, a heated open argument by parents levelled against sports officials conveyed a message of conflict in tarnishing what should have been a celebration of sportsmanship. It is quite disheartening that such a moment created an atmosphere of tension

Sports meet should see children experiencing the joy of participation, learning the value of teamwork and embracing the essence of fair play and discipline. Therefore, there is no doubt that when parents/guardians participate in such visible disputes it takes away from the opportunity to communicate valuable life lessons about sportsmanship.

As parents/guardians and others alike, it is important to reflect on that past incident and commit to doing better and being better as a community in setting a positive example for our youths. And furthermore in doing so remember the responsibility of parents/guardians in shaping the character of future generations.

On the flip side, a positive highlight moment at a primary school meet at the Nevis Academy Sports Grade 5 male 100m finals saw the winner of the race  immediately running back to assist a fellow competitor after realizing that he fell on the track. The young man has been showered with praise on social media (particularly via video footage from Mulley Media) for his sportsmanship.  Kudos indeed to that young athlete and all those who are instrumental in his upbringing.

In that situation, a child showed a wonderful example about sportsmanship and leadership. 

Let us run with every opportunity to teach and nurture the minds of our little ones, leading by example through actions and words.

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