The 10 athletic directors in the Suburban East Conference are committed to promoting a sportsmanship initiative to help improve the behavior in the stands at our athletic events.
As fans enter every contest at Park, they will notice a sandwich board with the major components of this initiative. Last month the conference held a sportsmanship summit as part of this project.
Each school sent its “SuperFans” to the Roseville Oval to meet with each other to discuss how we can improve sportsmanship at our events. The first topic was “above the line and below the line” behaviors.
Our co-curricular activities are an extension of the classroom, and we want the students in the stands to treat it that way. The students from the different schools also discussed traditions that each school has and different stereotypes about the students from their own school as well as the other conference schools.
Finally, the students themselves came up with a list of what they thought was acceptable to do at games and a list of what they felt is not acceptable. One result of the get-together was that the students at all of the schools realized that despite what school they go to or what color they paint their face, each of them was actually a lot alike.
They also realized how painful personal attacks against individuals from other teams really can be. When other teams come to Park, we will try to treat them like a visitor in our homes.
This group of SuperFans is a great group (they even have their own Twitter page @superfans2020), and they have even started to clean the trash from our own student section after games.
Two of their goals are to increase school spirit at all of our events (even fine arts events!) and get more students involved from all grade levels in cheering on our teams. We have talked a lot in the building about what is expected of our fans and what is accepted at games.
Our fans know this and are able to abide by it. All of the students at Park are very supportive of our teams. This group of Park students has stayed positive in their cheering and has showed great sportsmanship at our early season games. They are great leaders in our student section and really are “Super” fans. Let’s keep it up!