By Ray Hamill — A group of H-DNL student athletes are taking a proactive step to promote better sportsmanship at local high school sporting events.
With the help and support of some local boosters, administrators and college of the Redwoods, the H-DN Student Advisory Council (SAC) will host a first-ever sportsmanship summit at CR on Monday, Nov. 6.
The event will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open to student athletes, coaches, administrators, parents and boosters.
The theme for the day, according to Christiansen, is “be loud, be proud, be positive.”
The California Interscholastic Federation has been encouraging leagues all around the state to host something like this and will provide a minimal grant ($200 per school) to help offset some of the costs.
However, Christiansen believes the H-DNL is the first conference in the North Coast Section to act and one of the first in the state, following in the footsteps of a few similar events held around the nation recently.
And there is a need to promote better sportsmanship at high school sports with growing concerns across the nation about the actions of supporters and athletes at games, something we see regularly now on social media platforms.
There also has been a diminishing number of high school officials in recent years, something that is affecting just about high school sport here on the North Coast and something that has been at least partially attributed to the action of fans.
Christiansen says SAC is encouraging the larger schools in the H-DNL to bring 20-25 student athletes to the summit, as well as two to three administrators, five to 10 coaches, and five to 10 boosters/parents.
Smaller numbers are expected for the smaller schools in league.
“We want to involve all aspects (of sporting events),” she said.
The day will feature discussion panels, with a couple of “veteran, well-respected coaches” who will speak, as well as officials from all the H-DNL sports.
In addition, student athletes from CR and Cal Poly Humboldt will speak about their experiences and how they show up.
“It’s about managing yourself and controlling your controllables,” Christiansen said.
The day will also include workshops for student athletes and adults.
The event will be held at both the CR theater and gymnasium, with the Corsairs providing the location at no cost to help promote the day.
The Fortuna Rotary will provide free lunches for all attendees.
Christiansen proposed the idea to SAC and the H-DNL athletic directors, and the advisory council jumped at the suggestion.
SAC is made up of two representatives from all 11 schools in the league and meets a few times a year at various schools to discuss relevant topics that impact the lives of H-DNL student athletes.
They want to make this an annual event and plan on holding an expanded HDN Sportsmanship Summit earlier in the school year next year.
“It came up so fast we didn’t have a chance to put some things in motion,” Christiansen said of the event. “But for our first time I’m excited about the opportunity to kind of lay the groundwork.”
Any boosters interested in attending can email Christiansen at email@example.com, or league commissioner Jack Lakin at firstname.lastname@example.org.