CIAC Launches Class Act Schools Sportsmanship Program

ciacnewCHESHIRE – Conn. – The CIAC and its membership will officially launch a new sportsmanship initiative for its member schools entitled “Class Act Schools” at its Sportsmanship Conference, November 17 at the AquaTurf Club in Southington. Media are invited to attend the conference to learn more about the program and how it may be implemented in schools.

The new initiative is designed to empower schools and particularly students to take ownership for all issues related to sportsmanship within the athletics department. Beginning with the launch, schools will have the opportunity to opt-in as an official Class Act School. Doing so includes striving to follow an established set of guidelines for behavior at sporting events, and creating a student-led group to monitor and address sportsmanship concerns within the school. The CIAC will serve as the sponsor for the program, which aims to provide a framework enabling schools to promote, encourage, and monitor positive sportsmanship within their departments.

“The CIAC and our membership are excited to launch the Class Act Schools program and give a platform for our member schools to strive for best practices in sportsmanship,” CIAC Executive Director Karissa Niehoff stated. “The development of this program really came from the leadership of our member schools and CIAC is thrilled to support them in their efforts and we all believe this program can make a positive impact.”

The behavioral guidelines that are part of the Class Act Schools program were developed through collaboration and discussion with students, coaches and athletics directors at previous CIAC Sportsmanship Conferences and are intended to create a consistent framework for acceptable behavior from all athletics stakeholders including participants, coaches, students, and parents. The guidelines for the Class Act School program can be found here: http://ciacsports.com/site/?p=10430.

“One of the biggest challenges our membership has expressed to us in trying to promote positive sportsmanship is consistency. Actions that one school might not object to are considered inappropriate at another school,” Niehoff stated. “By choosing to be a part of the program a school is defining what is considered acceptable actions within interscholastic athletics, and then challenging its student leaders to address concerns either within their school or with an opponent.”

Following the official launch, schools will have the ability to voluntarily opt-in as Class Act Schools. There will be a dedicated Class Act Schools page CIACsports.com listing schools that have chosen to be a part of the program, along with links for promotional items to support the program at the school level. There will also be opportunities to share positive stories and examples of sportsmanship on the site. Schools will also be encouraged to use social media to highlight examples of Class Act School behavior.

The Sportsmanship Conference will feature presentations from student representatives at four pilot schools which began putting the program in place this fall to offer guidance on implementing the program. It will also feature a keynote address from Amity High School Principal and former Olympian Anna Mahon and, a social media presentation from Tom Pincince the Associate AD for Communication and Media Services at Central Connecticut State University.

The Class Act School official launch will come at the conclusion of the conference at approximately 12:30 p.m. Media planning to attend are asked contact Joel Cookson at jcooksonatcasciacdotorg.

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