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The Saint Thomas of Villanova School Athletic Program provides an instructional/competitive sports program as an extension of the Saint Thomas School academic program. Participants will learn the fundamentals of each sport as they develop a sense of good sportsmanship, fair play, and team spirit. All students who wish to play on a team are eligible to participate.
The Athletic Program of Saint Thomas School is an extension of the school’s philosophy and academic program. The athletic program exists to instruct children not only in the fundamentals of a sport, but also the importance of sportsmanship and the responsibilities of being a team member. The athletic program’s main goal is to teach the children that participation in athletics is enjoyable and a way to learn more about one’s abilities. Student athletes, parents, spectators, and coaches are to maintain a Christian standard of conduct that adheres to the school’s rules, to common decency and respect for others. While winning is important, the object of competition is learning to do one’s best, regardless of the outcome, and never at the expense of others.
The goals of the Athletic Program are to:
- Allow every student who wishes to participate in a sport the opportunity to do so.
- Prepare the student for high school sports by teaching all the fundamentals of the game.
- Develop sportsmanship.
- Give students the experience of being part of a team.
- Develop school spirit and team spirit.
- Help students develop strong, healthy and disciplined bodies and minds.
- Provide an enjoyable recreational activity which can be sustained into adulthood.
- Encourage values of self-discipline, self-confidence, fair play, and cooperation.
- Teach the proper attitude toward winning, losing and competing with dignity.
Responsibility for the Athletic Program
Since school-sponsored athletic programs are an extension of the school and its curriculum, the programs are subject to the authority of the Principal.
The responsibility to organize and manage the athletic program is delegated to the Athletic Director.
The Athletic Program is funded by the St. Thomas Family/School Association (FSA), fees paid by students participating in each sport, and sales of refreshments at home games. All finances for the Athletic Program are managed by the Athletic Director.
The coach has the greatest responsibility as well as the greatest opportunity to guide and influence the student athletes. Coaches assume the role of teacher, mentor and minister to the young people in their charge. A coach’s attitude and behavior are critical to modeling good Christian/Catholic sportsmanship both in word and in deed. The volunteer coach is vital if the athletic program is to reflect the Mission and Philosophy of the school sports program.
Coaches must have:
- Filled out the Criminal Background Check on-line.
- Participated in the mandatory Virtus class and read the on-line articles.
- The ability to model Catholic/Christian values.
- The ability to articulate and model the philosophy and goals of the program.
- The ability to supervise and instruct the youth in his/her care responsibly.
- An understanding of the basics of the sport to be coached.
- The ability to develop the potential, confidence, and skills of each athlete.
- The ability to separate winning from the more important goals and values of the program.
- The approval of the principal before assuming coaching duties.
Because of the small size of our program, coaches are volunteers who generously offer their time to help provide an athletic program for our school.
Coaches agree to follow the guidelines in the Office of Catholic Schools Athletic Handbook.
Coaches who do not mirror the standards noted above can be asked to relinquish their coaching duties by the school principal.
Parent Responsibilities and Expectations
Parents play an important role in the success of the student athlete and also in the success of the team. Attendance at a mandatory parent meeting in August is expected.
Parents are expected to sign the athletic permission form for each sport, pay the required fee, and see that the student receives a sports physical before participating in any sport.
Parents are expected to support and encourage their child’s efforts. Attending games and cheering the team on is a show of support, however parents are always reminded to act in a responsible manner and show good Christian sportsmanship.
Parents should make no attempt to instruct or direct the play of an athlete or of the team. They should not criticize the playing efforts of any athlete or of any team.
Parents are expected to contribute their time and service in support of the team and the athletic program. They will be asked to assist as scorekeepers, timekeepers, money or ticket takers, refreshment sellers, etc. at four (4) home games and one (1) play off game every year.
Parents can be a model for putting losses in perspective and moving on. Questioning, criticizing, or berating the coach, referees, or any other officials is inappropriate behavior. Parents can and may be asked to leave a game if they are not able to maintain a standard of acceptable behavior.
Parents will provide transportation for their children to and from games and practices. Coaches are not covered by liability insurance for chauffeur service and may not transport athletes at any time.
Parents will assist the student in maintaining the athletic uniform.
Parents will communicate directly with the coach or athletic director on matters of concern. They will do so at appropriate times, not immediately before, during or after a game.
Student Expectations and Responsibilities
Students participating in the St. Thomas Athletic Program will:
- Submit all documentation by the required date.
- Meet the academic and behavior requirements.
- Present completed permission forms.
- Sign acknowledgments of expectations of behavior, effort, and attitude.
- Undergo a physical examination.
- Pay all required fees.
Students who choose to participate in the athletic program of St. Thomas school are representing our school and parish at all times. They must act in a manner that reflects favorably upon the school and on themselves. This expectation is not limited to the sports field or court, but should be evident at school, in the community, at other schools, and before, during and after the game.
The athlete is responsible for the uniform issued. If lost, stolen, or damaged an appropriate assessment will be made to replace the uniform. At the end of the season, uniforms are to be returned in good, clean, reusable condition.
The student athlete shows respect for coaches and cooperates with them fully. This respect is also given to members of their team.
Losing self-control, using inappropriate gestures or tone of voice, or foul and abusive language, arguing a referee’s call or a coach’s decision or other signs of disrespect are reasons for disciplinary action. Consequences of such behavior could be reduced playing time or suspension or expulsion from the team.
Athletes are expected to be present and on time for all practices and games. An athlete who is absent from school due to illness should not attend practice or a game on that given day.
St. Thomas of Villanova School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin in its admission or hiring policies, educational programs, loan or scholarship programs, athletics or any other school-administered program.
Code of Ethics
We are a Catholic/Christian community. We stand as an example to the world of our values. We are called, even in the arena of sports, to uphold these values.
Time Devoted to Athletics
St. Thomas students are to devote no more than nine (9) hours during the school week to a given athletic program. This time includes games, practices, travel time to and from games, and tournaments. Coaches are allowed to schedule as much time as they need to athletics during school holidays.
Special exceptions, upon consultation with the principal and athletic director, can be made for girls who want to be both cheerleaders and participate in basketball.
Amendment to Handbook
The school or the principal retains the right to amend this handbook at any time for just cause and parents will be given prompt notification if changes are made.