Athletic student leaders from secondary schools in Nebo School District, Provo School District, and Wasatch School District gathered last week for the Nebo Captain’s Academy, a program implemented to increase communication and friendship among student athletes and encourage sportsmanship and leadership.
Captain’s Academy was created by Dr. Everett Kelepolo, the Nebo School District Athletic Coordinator in 2009. Since that time, student athletes and school leaders have met three times annually to discuss how sportsmanship and leadership can be implemented in their given sport. Teachers and community members have seen unity and sportsmanship increase among student athletes at athletic events since these meetings began.
This Nebo Fall Captains’ Academy included captains from girls’ soccer, football, cheer, boys’ golf, student government council, volleyball, girls’ tennis, and girls’ and boys’ cross country teams from both the high schools and junior high schools.
The day started out with student athletes and their coaches eating a nutritious breakfast donated by Intermountain Healthcare. Dr. Everett Kelepolo welcomed the students from Nebo, Provo, and Wasatch School Districts. Last year was the first time Nebo invited other school districts to participate.
Dr. Kelepolo said, “The two main goals that we strive to accomplish are:
1. Promote sportsmanship and positive relationships among our schools and athletes.
2. Develop team captains to lead with excellence and integrity while they build community, personally flourish and act in a positive and socially responsible manner.
The captains saw a positive video clip created by Salem Hills High about good sportsmanship with the theme: “Know better. Do Better. Be Better!” (Click on the link to see the short 34 second clip.)
Jared Sites, Principal at Provo High School, presented on the importance of “Sportsmanship.” He passed out various situations and had the student captains collaborate at their tables about how they, as student leaders, could instill sportsmanship at each of their own schools.
Next, Jesse Roberts, Athletic Director at Spanish Fork High School, spoke on “What is a leader?” The student captains took time to discuss and collaborate at their tables about the role of a captain or leader.
Jordan Stevenson was the keynote speaker for this Fall Captain’s Academy. Jordan spent his entire military career disarming bombs and was shot in the head while serving in Afghanistan. He had a powerful message about how important it is to do the little things to reach your goals and be successful.
Before and after enjoying a delicious lunch provided by Intermountain Healthcare, the student athlete captains had time to get to know the other captains at the other schools and discuss how to promote good sportsmanship and positive leadership at their own schools.
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