Schools Aim to Be Good Sports; New District-Wide Program Encourages Ethics among Student Athletes, Coaches and Spectators

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Byline: lisa miller

An effort to enhance ethics and good sportsmanship in youth sports continued this week as more than 150 area coaches and administrators attended a half-day workshop on how to implement the six pillars of character into athletics.

Developed by the Character Counts! initiative in 1999, Pursuing Victory with Honor encourages coaches, parents and athletes to play sports with the character pillars in mind: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

St. Johns County is the first district in the state to use the program.

"The Pursuing Victory with Honor training sets forth the expectations for our athletics program and the values we want to reflect in our community," said Superintendent Joseph Joyner. "It is my desire that St. Johns County be known around the state for demonstrating good sportsmanship and character on the athletic field as well as in the classroom."

That's why Joyner required every school athletic director and coach to attend the workshop, which included breakout sessions about ethics in sports, conduct in sports and sportsmanship/gamesmanship.

Victory with Honor also encourages good sportsmanship among spectators, and other fans are encouraged to accept their responsibility as role models.

Barry Craig, Bartram Trail High School's athletic director, said he believes the program is a fantastic idea. …