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Playing Like Champions at St. Mary’s High School Education Program Aims to Elevate the Culture of Catholic Sports

August 25-27, 2018 at St. Mary’s High School, 113 Duke of Gloucester St. Annapolis, MD
Parent Like a Champion Workshop: Saturday, August 25, 3:00 – 4:15pm, Marian Hall
Coaching as Ministry Clinic: Sunday, August 26, 1:00 – 5:00pm, Team House
Senior Servant Leadership Seminar: Monday, August 27, 12:15 – 1:15pm
Media welcome.
For more information, contact Kristin Sheehan (574.329.0266) or information@playlikeachampion.org
 
St. Mary’s Parish High School is joining in partnership with the Play Like a Champion Today Character Education Through Sports program this weekend. Allison Fondale, St. Mary’s Athletic Director, welcomes the opportunity to work with Play Like a Champion, saying: “Play Like a Champion sees coaching as a form of ministry, and challenges coaches to develop the whole athlete: physically, mentally, morally and spiritually. Our community looks forward to gaining tools to enhance our Catholic school athletic experience.”
 
Winning-at-all-costs coaching, sports specialization, and parent “sports rage” are just a few of the problems eroding the culture of sports today. The Play Like a Champion Today program is designed to provide children and adolescents with the highest quality sports experience possible. The program’s resources are developed in collaboration with faculty at the University of Notre Dame’s Shaw Center for Children and Families and with social scientists, philosophers, theologians, sport scientists, and physicians in universities nationally and internationally. Play Like a champion helps sports organizations by educating coaches to make sports more character-focused and an opportunity for faith formation.
 
By partnering with Play Like a Champion, St. Mary’s brings their “Coaching as Ministry” clinic, Champion Sport Parent workshop and Student Servant Leadership seminar to the St. Mary’s community. Play Like a Champion Program Director, Kristin Sheehan will conduct these trainers.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity, convened a May 2015 conference for coaches. In his address to the gathering, Pope Francis insisted that coaches receive a solid formal education: “Educators must be educated.” It is up to sports organizations “to pay due attention to and invest the necessary resources in the professional preparation, both human and spiritual, of coaches.” Through the partnership with Play Like a Champion Today, St. Mary’s High School joins with more than 150 sports organizations committed to answering Pope Francis’ call to educate their coaches.
Play Like a Champion Today workshops are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE). Play Like a Champion has partners in forty-two states across the United States and Canada and has educated over 100,000 coaches and parents who in turn have impacted the lives of over a million athletes.
 
Workshop evaluation data confirm the effectiveness of the Play Like a Champion Today program. For example, 97% of coaches attending the clinics were satisfied with the experience, and agreed to fully implement the Champion approach to coaching for character development. When asked about the impact of the parent workshop, most parent respondents (96%) agreed that they will commit to helping their child grow spiritually through their sport experience. Pope Francis spoke in his Vatican Radio address about “the importance of sport in moral education, since the sporting spirit is 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.” Play Like a Champion works to instill these virtues in young athletes, their parents, and coaches across the country. “If Catholic-sponsored sports programs are going to achieve their full-potential as envisioned by Pope Francis, Catholic schools and dioceses must invest in preparing coaches and sports parents to understand sports as a vehicle to teach gospel values. When sport programs partner with Play Like a Champion, they run a program in sync with our Christian community and effectively develop young people to become disciples of our Church. We are thrilled to partner with St. Mary’s High School in making this a reality within their community,” says Sheehan, Play Like a Champion Program Director. 
 
For more information on the Play Like a Champion Today Character Education Through Sports Initiative, visit the website at  www.playlikeachampion.org or you may contact 574.250.6424
 
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St. Mary’s Parish, a Catholic congregation served by the Redemptorist Order, includes St. Mary’s Church and St. John Neumann Mission Church. St. Mary's Elementary and High School located in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, serve students in grades Kindergarten through 12. Anchored in faith, rooted in tradition, and committed to excellence, our programs build lifelong learners who are servant leaders.
St. Mary's Elementary School Contact Information:
St. Mary's High School Contact Information:
Phone: 410-263-3294
 Fax: 410-269-7843