Athletic student leaders from secondary schools in Nebo 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 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.
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 and from Provo and Wasatch High Schools. This is the first time Nebo has 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.
Bart Thompson, Assistant Principal at Spanish Fork High School, presented on “What is a leader?” The student captains then took time to discuss and collaborate at their tables about what the role of a captain is.
Next, Brian Argyle, Athletic Director at Payson High School, spoke on the importance of sportsmanship. The student captains had a breakout session where they discussed how they, as student leaders, could instill sportsmanship at each of their own schools.
Shad Martin with Especially for Athletes (E4A) was the concluding speaker. E4A helps student athletes to maximize their athletic potential and to use their talents and social influence to assist and lift others.
After enjoying a delicious lunch provided by Intermountain Healthcare, the student athlete captains were discussing how they were inspired and determined to make a difference through good sportsmanship and leadership at each of their schools.
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