D5 Sportsmanship

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Aim: To look at a Christian response to sporting behaviour. Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Recreation, Sports and Games D5


Sportsmanship Verses Gamesmanship template

Activity 2
• ‘Men Behaving Badly’ template
• Flip chart
• Pens

Activity 3
• Sportsmanship Test’ template
• Flip chart
• Pens


Activity 1 - Sportsmanship Verses Gamesmanship

Aim: To get the young people to define what sportsmanship Is.

Introduction (5 mins)

• write the following onto a piece of paper and ask the group to state whether they agree or disagree with a statement and why:
— “You don't win silver. You lose gold.” (Trainer advertisement aired on TV during the Atlanta Olympics)
— “Winning is everything.”
— “One player practising sportsmanship is far better than fifty preaching it.” (Knute Rockne)

Sportsmanship verses Gamesmanship (15 mins)
• Ask the group what they think sportsmanship is. Write their answers on a flip chart and then repeat the exercise asking what they think is meant by gamesmanship:
— Sportsmanship — conduct becoming to one participating in a sport (such as fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning and losing).
— Gamesmanship — The art or practice of winning games by questionable means without actually breaking the game’s rules, but violating their spirit; or the use of ethically dubious methods to gain an objective.

• Ask the group for examples of gamesmanship that they can think of, e.g. holding an opponent’s shirt, faking an injury, diving, etc.

• Ask the group for examples of good sportsmanship, e.g. picking an opponent up off the ground after a foul, shaking hands with the opposing team after a game, deciding not to argue with an official after an incorrect call, etc.

• Lay out the ‘Sportsmanship Verses Gamesmanship’ template (on the cd) and ask the group in pairs to choose one of the examples, read it, and then discuss how they feel about the situation. Get them to report back their feelings to the rest of the group.

Activity 2 - Men Behaving Badly

Aim: To see how the young people’s sporting heroes measure up to how they would react.

Scenarios (10 mins)

• Split the young people into groups of 2-4, and hand-out one of the scenarios from the ‘Men Behaving Badly’ template. Get the groups back together and ask them to summarise the scenario and tell everyone else what they would do.

Discussion (10 mins)
Ask the group to:
• Write down their top ten sporting heroes in the world.

• What are the attributes of a good sportsperson?

• Ask the young people whether their sporting heroes would react in a similar way to how they would in the scenarios before? Consider whether their list contains examples of good sporting role models and why? If not ask them to name the best role models and why they think that their list contains better players. Do people admire sportsmanship?

• What do they think are the consequences of bad sportsmanship?

• Think about whether it is important for people to display good sportsmanship while participating in sports events or viewing them?

What Is Jesus like? (10 mins)
Ask the group to think about what Jesus was like? They will probably come up with answers like the list below. Follow this up by asking for examples of when Jesus was like this:

• Compassionate (e.g. Luke 7:11-15)

• Fair and full of grace (e.g. John 8: 1.11)

• Loving (e.g. Matthew 9:35-36)

• Forgiving (e.g. John 4:1-42)

• Tell the group That we are called to live like Jesus and this includes our behaviour on the sporting field. Ask the group how we should therefore act when we play sport? What does this look like in reality? Does this mean we can’t tackle anyone or play to win?

Activity 3 - What am I like ?

Aim: To get the group to reflect on their own behaviour.

Sportsmanship Self-Test (10 mins)

• Give each member of the group a Sportsmanship Test’ template to fill in.

Being a Good Sportsperson (20 mins)

• Ask the group to think about how we can ensure that we stick to appropriate levels of sportsmanship. r
— You set the rules and example. It’s ultimately everybody’s responsibility to teach good “V sportsmanship, both as a participant and as a spectator.
— Watching and Learning. Whether you’re watching the Olympics on lv or attending a school sporting event, you can always find some examples of good sportsmanship.

• Read to the group the following quote:
“Some clubs want to win so much they’ll do anything to get it. Our approach has been just the opposite. We’ve tried to do things the right way. And the right way is the rules and regulations, and they are precisely what we go by.” (Don Shula — NFL Hall of Fame Coach, World Champion Miami 3 Dolphins)

• Tell them that sportsmanship is simply an athlete who behaves fairly, honestly and generously in competition. It is training, playing and competing within the rules of the game, with honesty and integrity in everything you do. Get the group to write a “Good Sportsmanship Code” with at least rules. Get each individual to sign it to signify that they comply with what it says. ‘

• Read out the following Bible passage:
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God — the free life! — even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.” James 1:22-25 (The Message)

• Ask the group whether they ever hear something, agree with it and still do the opposite? Why do they do that? Is it because it is more advantageous not to do it?

• Discuss with the group the idea that good sportsmanship should not be limited to the sports field, but filter through all aspects of life! For example, being a “good team mate” to a struggling student at school, discouraging a bully from picking on another child, etc. How can we be good sports people off the sporting field?

For full details see the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Recreation, Sports and Games D5


  • christian Faith
  • company
  • discoverer
  • recreation
  • sportsmanship

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