East Catholic High School is proud to announce a partnership with the University of Notre Dame that aims to enhance the culture of high school sports with its "Play Like a Champion Today Program." This character education program through sports initiative supports Catholic schools in promoting athletics as a ministry to youth and families, helps to build teams as moral communities, and supports character development, spiritual growth, intrinsic motivation and responsible decision-making.
"East Catholic Athletics is excited to be entering into a partnership with the University of Notre Dame and its Play Like a Champion Today Program," said athletic director Tom Malin. "We feel that this partnership will benefit our student athletes, coaches and parents as we strive to foster a good moral foundation throughout our athletic programs."
East Catholic continues to work to provide adolescents with the highest quality sports experience possible. Drawing on the expertise of the Notre Dame coaching staff, the research of developmental and sport psychologists, as well as leaders in Catholic theology, Play Like a Champion Today aims to renew high school sports by educating coaches and parents to nurture personal and spiritual development along with athletic excellence.
East Catholic High School is bringing Play Like a Champion Today experts to provide an athlete and coaches clinic on Aug. 22 and 23 and a parents' workshop on Sept. 4.
Malin, along with members of the coaching staff, attended a Sports Leadership conference on Notre Dame's campus in June titled "Long Term Athlete Development: Ethics and Excellence." East Catholic High School is the first Connecticut area high school to partner with this program.
Play Like a Champion Today workshops are nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education. The initiative enjoys partnerships in more than 40 cities across the United States and Canada. Play Like a Champion Today has educated more than 50,000 coaches and 20,000 parents who, in turn, have impacted the lives of more than a million athletes.
The Parent Like a Champion program is an interactive workshop for sports parents that seeks not only to respond to incidents, but also seeks to give parents sound advice on how to guide their children through their youth and high school sports careers. Parents receive education and materials that help them reinforce the goals of character development through sports stressed by the program. Parents also receive guidance on how they can help their children to form habits of spiritual reflection, perseverance, sound decision-making, team work, good nutrition and regular exercise.
Pope Francis recently spoke in his Vatican Radio address about "the importance of sports in moral education, since the sporting spirit is the one that teaches the need for discipline, effort and sacrifice to succeed and achieve excellence – becoming a constant reminder of the sacrifices necessary to grow in the virtues that build the character of a person."
Submitted by East Catholic High School.