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Sportsmanship involves everyone

As educators, we understand the importance for students to not only focus on academics but also participate in extracurricular activities. As a parent and school administrator, I encourage kids to try different activities, whether it be sports, music, speech, theatre or whatever they might be interested in. The more opportunities students take part in, the more likely they are to find their niche. I myself appreciate a good game, a relaxing music concert and a wonderful theatre production.20718.

At Osakis Public School, like many other schools across Minnesota, we want to encourage and promote good sportsmanship for all students, fans, supporters and opponents of Osakis Silverstreaks' activities. The Osakis School Board, administration and staff recognize the significant value of school activities to the participants, to the student body and to the community. We would like to share with you some expectations we have in our school with regard to any extra-curricular activity you may attend.

1. The behavior of all Osakis students, staff and spectators are expected to be a positive reflection of themselves, our school and the community.

2. The standards of courtesy, fair play and good sportsmanship should be evident at all times.

3. Audiences should treat performers and speakers with respect and courtesy and shall refrain from inappropriate noise or any activity that might distract from the performance or presentation.

4. Teams, officials, coaches and participants should be treated with respect by spectators, coaches and players alike.

5. Spectators, participants and coaches should accept and respect the decisions made by officials.

6. Spectators, participants and coaches are expected to support the activity enthusiastically but refrain from disparaging remarks, put-downs, yells, signs, booing or any other action that would be demeaning, disrespectful or discouraging.

7. All other school policies or Minnesota State High School League rules apply when at school activities and when on school property.

The league has established minimal behavior expectations for regular and post-season tournament competitions. You can see its comprehensive list of nine bulleted items on its website at https://www.mshsl.org.

We often take a little bit of time at the start of an event to share some words about good sportsmanship. Sometimes, we have asked athletes to read a statement or make comments about positive behaviors as well. Although it may take a few extra moments, we think the reminders of good sportsmanship are worth the investment of time. Often, the program and roster lists will also make reference to sportsmanship standards, expectations of good behavior or fair play or other positive statements. Again, the continual reminder that we are dealing with young, student competitors in any of our events is good to keep in mind.

Our activities director, Brad Hoffarth, has been making a point of including sportsmanship issues within his presentations to students and coaches/advisors as we begin each activity and season. These ideas are also reinforced by the coaches/advisors during the course of the season.

The bottom line is this: Parents, educational staff, coaches/advisors, and the community need to work together to create a positive environment for our students and activities, whether it be on the field, court, stage or classroom.

Osakis Voices is a rotating column written by community leaders who share their thoughts in their field of expertise.

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