Participation vs Elitism


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Presentation made at the BCSS 2011 AGM

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  • This wordle is take from the BCSS handbook (minus definitions and preamples of who’s what within BCSS).Interesting points from the Wordle: BCSS is about schools and student-athletes.Competition is greater than participationEligibility and regulations do play a part.Boys and girls are equally weighted Eligible and Approved occurs more often than ineligible Coach is barely visible (inside the h of school)Members are an important of our organizationApparently “must” is really important.
  • Thanks for giving me some time to present on this topic.Carefully note that I have not chosen Participation vs Competition. That is a different topic but I also touch on it in this presentation.The purpose of this presentation is to get you, the representatives of member schools of BCSS to think of our goals or mission as an organization that provides sports in a school setting.
  • I do not want this to be about what I think school sports is about. I want you to engage in your experiences of school sport.We sit here now, as adults, but most (if not all) of us started our experiences as athletes playing for school sports.Time to share:Turn to the person next to you and share with them your memories.IS THERE ANYONE WILLING TO SHARE THOSE MEMORIES WITH US?
  • Let’s fast forward a few years, you are not longer that high school athlete. You are a coach of high school sports.
  • How many coaches have experienced this scenario?Losing a big match, driving the bus in the dark of night, replaying every play in their head, looking at every error made, the TSN turning point and it just not right outcome… the team could have, should have won.Have you every listened closely to the continuous chatter from back of the bus? The conversations starts the same as yours (focusing on the end result), but very quickly change those conversations change to sound bites of the game. The score does not matter.The other key point is the difference in answers between teacher and community coaches. Teachers coaches will more often have community or school related experience. “giving the opportunity to unlikely athlete”. Community coaches experiences are limited to gym not to the entire school population or culture. This is not to say that community coaches invaluable to school sports but rather have a different perspective than teacher coaches.
  • Looking back to the values that school sports provide to students athletes in terms of participation.
  • There is much talk about whether BCSS should be about participation or competition. That is not what I am here to presentation. Competition is healthy, it is important.
  • Note that I have used two slides to promote the benefits of healthy competition.Competition involves sportsmanship. We must not forget that as coaches!Team work!! Is this not a skill that every one promotes today.
  • Here is the difference. Competition is not elitism. Elitism is resulting in children who are specializing in sport at an early age. (click) Train year-round for a sport (click) and compete on an elite level.We, as coaches, are sucked in to the same mind set that propel parents into pushing their children into elite programs. We all are coerced by exceptional athletes in the media spot light and believe that we can all achieve the same level of success.
  • We must look at elitism in a different mindset. For those coaches who think that they develop elite athletes in the school system; they are mostly wrong. Elite athletes need to be in the elite program with only elite athletes. School sports may have the best athletes in the their school but they are not a collection of the best athletes in the region, province or country. I do believe that school sports is the grassroots of elite programs (LEARNING TO TRAIN, TRAINING TO TRAIN); we introduce student athlete to sports but elitism is not our end product.We have just experienced the successes of elitism first hand. The Vancouver Olympics showcases the “Own the Podium” with Canada’s best medal performance ever at the Olympics Games.
  • “Own the Podium” (CLICK) is the headline of Canadian’s Sport for Life program. This program provided the backing of Canadian’s Long Term Athlete Development Program. This program has many great attributes including research based development of athletes and development of healthy active people. It promotes growth of skills and strength and life long commitments to being active. This is a wonderful concept but falls incredibly short.But this is a thinly veiled, program to promote elitism and keep Canada on top of the world in athlete development. Funding for Sports for Life is limited to 2% of the population who will become part of “Own the Podium”.This is what Sports for Life says about school sports.
  • Inherent problems: LTAD
  • What is the objective of School Sport? In doing research for this presentation, I came across an timely article with regards of school sport and the cross roads that we as an organization find ourselves at.Here is what the article has to say.
  • Interesting findings that are express where BCSS is today with the issues that we face. What can we do the address all this? This is where we must look more closely about what are as an organization, what we do and how we do it.
  • At the beginning of this presentation, everyone saw a wordle. (CLICK LINK) If you have never seen a wordle, a wordle is a cloud of words from any source. The size of the words is relative to the frequency that a word is used in the source. This is where you, as representative of the members of BCSS have your opportunity to provide feedback to organization.Working in small group of 2, 3 or 4. Take time to discuss this topic. Please record your thoughts, ideas and feedback.
  • There is no right answers and there no wrong answers. All answers fit along a continuum. But we need to know where the membership sits on the continuum. What is important is that SCHOOL must not be taken out of School Sport.
  • Participation vs Elitism

    1. 1. Link
    2. 2. Participation vs Elitism Presentation by Rob Colombo 2nd Vice President Competitive Standards Committee (Chair)
    3. 3. Participation vs ElitismQuestion:What are your memories fromparticipating in high schoolsports?
    4. 4. Participation vs ElitismQuestion:As coach, what is yourdefining memory?
    5. 5. Participation vs ElitismWhy is it so often that these views conflict? Students tend focus on memories of participation Coaches tend focus on competition results Teachers coaches’ views tend to be different from community coaches’ views
    6. 6. ParticipationBrings people togetherNew skills are learnedNew friendships madeThere is a sense of belonging in whicheveryone realizes theyre part of oneteam, which is their school 2010-11-30-competition-vs- participation
    7. 7. CompetitionCompetition is also healthy.It motivates learners to try even harder.Winning is a morale booster.Further develops skills.There is also the sheer enjoyment and fun oftaking part in winning. 2010-11-30-competition-vs- participation
    8. 8. CompetitionPositive competition involves determined but,crucially important, friendly rivalry.Values such as perseverance, respect, beinghumble in victory and gracious in defeat arelearnt.When the competition involves teamwork,important life skills are taught. Everyone knowsthe team is more important than the individual.Together they can do so much more. 2010-11-30-competition-vs- participation
    9. 9. ElitismIncreasing numbers of children who specialize in asport at an early age , train year-round for a sportand/or compete on an "elite" level.Media coverage of national & internationalcompetition has focused attention on very talentedbut very young competitors.The successes of young athletes can serve as apowerful inducement for others to follow. Pediatrics, Jul2000, Vol. 106 Issue 1, p154, 4p
    10. 10. ElitismAlong with media coverage, the lure of collegescholarship or a professional career can alsomotivate athletes (and their parents) to committo specialized training regimens at an early age.The low probability of reaching these lofty goalsdoes not appear to discourage many aspirants. Pediatrics, Jul2000, Vol. 106 Issue 1, p154, 4p
    11. 11. ElitismMost Olympic sports have selection processesthat attempt to identify future champions andinitiate specialized training--often before theprospect finishes elementary school. Pediatrics, Jul2000, Vol. 106 Issue 1, p154, 4p
    12. 12. SPORT FOR LIFE (“Own the Podium”)“Traditionally, physical education in the schools,recreational sports, and elite sport have beendeveloped separately…fails to ensure that allchildren, including those who may choose tobecome elite athletes, are given a solidfoundation and knowledge base”
    13. 13. SPORT FOR LIFE (“Own the Podium”)“The results of the survey show that while sportschool programs have grown and evolved in BC,they are not currently catering to highperformance athletes and may not be providinga high quality training environment for theirstudent-athletes”
    14. 14. SCHOOL SPORTS Encyclopedia of Education, 2002The Objective of School Sports:1. The enrichment of the high school experiences of students within the context of the educational mission of schools.2. As such, school sports should be educational and contribute to the overall education of all students, not athletes only.3. Citizenship, Sportsmanship, fair play, teamwork, respect, and health and welfare of all students not only during the school years but continuing into adulthood.
    15. 15. SCHOOL SPORTS Encyclopedia of Education, 2002Other Findings: There is a lack of uniform standards for coaches education “Rogue Schools” that focus on single sports, elite programs, & recruiting High School programs generally emphasize competition and program success (rather than developing skills for the next level of athletic competition)
    16. 16. SCHOOL SPORTS Encyclopedia of Education, 2002Nonschool Sports: Programs for talented young athletes (and by extension some coaches) to participate in a sport after the school season, but during the school year and have expanded in the summer Some of these programs also compete directly with school sports
    17. 17. What does BCSS do right?In Terms of Participation: In a small group, record you answers on the forms given. LINK
    18. 18. What does BCSS do right?In Terms of Competition: In a small group, record you answers on the forms given.
    19. 19. What are some concerns with the BCSS model?Inconsistencies between sport commissionsInability to attract financial supportRECRUITING (rogue schools) Requires members to report Public vs Non-Public schools (perceived) Requires court proof evidence THESE ARE ADULT PROBLEMS!
    20. 20. Solutions?????1. Are we about participation or elitism?2. Are we meeting the needs of our students (athletes)?3. What should we continue to do well?4. What can we do better?5. How do we address our concerns?