HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal


Student Leadership in School Athletics

by Micah Grubert Van Iderstine Issue: Athletics Gray Academy, Winnipeg

Our school’s sports teams have been known as the Raiders for decades. With a large variety of options, from ultimate Frisbee to basketball and even curling, all students can be involved. Our athletic council provides students with a unique opportunity to give input into our athletics program. Run by our athletic coordinator, the Raiders Athletic Council provides leadership opportunities for students on both the local and national level.

 

It is my privilege to be the senior chair this year, with three junior chairs. I decided to get involved in the athletic council after playing for our basketball team since grade 7, and ultimate Frisbee team since grade 9. I wanted to have more of a voice in the athletics program, and to help with organization and planning for our sports teams specifically. It is a fun way to get involved with the school, and to feel like you are making a difference.

 

The Gray Academy Athletic Council began five years ago and has seen steady growth each year. It consists of a group of students who work with the athletics department to organize tournaments, team trips and spirit days. Community service and creating school spirit are two examples of the work of the council.

 

Students enjoy being able to give input regarding new team uniforms and Raiders' gear, redesigned every year. The gear is quite popular; every day you see students wearing it in class or gym. Three years ago, the athletic council created a new school mascot, named Rocky the Raider. Using social media in conjunction with Raiders Pride Days and team trips, Rocky the Raider has created a buzz in the school that was not present before.

 

The athletic council puts an emphasis on the importance of the health and general wellbeing of our students. All students are welcome to become active members of the council regardless of their athletic ability; the only qualification is that students must participate in at least one school sport. The chairs of the council are selected based on leadership and involvement in the athletics program.

 

Last year, our athletic council teamed up with Adidas to support the West Broadway Youth Organization’s Fifth Annual 5ish Fun Run. 70% of the kids in the WBYO did not own or could not afford running shoes. This meant that without our help, a large number of kids would be unable to practice and participate in the run. As a school, we raised enough money to donate 160 pairs of shoes to the club and helped a remarkable number of kids get in shape in order to run in the race. On race day, senior council members ran with the kids and got to see first hand the difference that they made in our local community.

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Athletics

This issue presents a wealth of guidance and examples for day schools to stay on top of their game. Articles discuss how schools ensure that athletics stay informed by a school's mission, by embodying Jewish values and embracing inclusivity; how they can use sports as a vehicle for teaching about and fostering love for Israel; how a wide range of sports can bring out the best in students and faculty; and how schools can more broadly employ movement and teach healthy living.

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