Why Sports?

Posted on January 8th, 2015 by


Today we wrap up phase one of this experience.  Class on campus will end today at 12:20 with the final information on packing, the airport, and our travel.  At that time, we will conclude what has been an amazing week of learning, listening, exploring, and getting to know one another.  I know I feel more prepared to move on to the travel portion of this trip than I did before and I hope the students do too.  I want to thank Dr. Aaron Banks for all the effort and legwork to gather together all these amazing speakers and plan this incredibly meaningful week for us.  This trip really is his passion and we are lucky to have him sharing it with all of us.

This morning, we had the extreme pleasure to listen to Dr. Tommy Valentini, Endowed Chair for Sports Ethics and Men’s Tennis, speak to us about the meaning of sport, why we engage with it, and what it means to us.  After starting this week reading from the book “Let Love Serve” by Dr. Valentini’s mentor and coach, Steve Wilkerson, it was a great opportunity to reflect on Steve’s philosophies and the concept of sport standing for more than a game. Tommy spoke to the fact that in their essences, sports are moral neutral.  They don’t give us anything beyond the game.  Then how we get to the idea that “sport builds character and life skills?” It’s all about the people surrounding us during the experience – the way the game is taught, the outside influences brought into it, the expectations placed upon those participating.  Good people breed good sports.  It’s such an important concept to consider as we talk about the good and the bad of these Olympic Games.  The glory and the controversy are based on the people behind them.  We can control that, even if we can’t control the win or the loss.

We hope that you will continue to follow us through our journey. Next time you hear from us, we will be in Germany!




One Comment

  1. Lynn Shattuck says:

    Have a wonderful and safe trip! It’s fun reading about your adventures so far, and now more to come.