Slamming her racquet on the floor and calling the umpire a liar and a thief garnered world-wide attention for Serena Williams at this year’s US Open. Facing three code-of-conduct violations for illegal coaching, racquet abuse and verbally abusing a judge, totalling to a penalty of US$17,000 many have argued that the price she paid for her outburst cost her a lot more than the monetary fine. The incident has since opened a discussion about the importance and value of sportsmanship and accepting defeat or setbacks as part and parcel of life.
“Winning and losing is a basic fact of life,” Travis Washko, regional activities manager for Nord Anglia Education’s (NAE) international schools in China, said.
“Sport is one of the best ways to teach young people how to win and lose. Learning to be gracious and respectful [by experiencing both] is very important in life.”
Mr Washko, who recently helped set up an NAE China regional Global Games football event for students under 14 years old, said that large sporting activities create a positive and constructive environment to teach the traits of sportsmanship such as learning to play fair, following directions, respecting both team members and opponents and encouraging team work.
“They’re basic cornerstones. All our schools try to teach these through a number of regional opportunities for STEAM learning and the performing arts. In fact, being a member of a large group of schools shows that we are part of a team.”
In addition to in-school sports opportunities, including core lessons, extra-curricular activities, sports days and competing locally and nationally, students at NAE schools have the opportunity to participate in the Global Games - regional sporting tournaments and competitions which bring together our students in fun, competitive and action-packed events.