Written by Mike Chamberlain
One of the best ways students can get involved at Horizon Academy is through the numerous clubs and after-school activities we offer. These clubs are an awesome way for our students to experience new activities and to find their strengths. Sports such as cross country and track are two of the most popular clubs we offer. As a child, I was always involved in after-school activities. As a result, lifelong friendships were built through my participation in middle and high school athletics. I also learned many life lessons while fighting for a good finish at a cross country race or playing in a grueling tennis match.
At Horizon Academy, we offer at least one physically active after-school club per day. During the fall, we have a cross country team that practices multiple days a week and participates in a few meets throughout the season. During the winter months, we offer a variety of indoor sports such as basketball, volleyball, and futsal. Finally, in the spring we have our most popular club, track and field. In all of our sport activities, students build camaraderie and learn to support their teammates. Additionally, athletics are a great way for students to work on social skills, be physically active and learn how to live a healthy lifestyle while also learning how to deal with difficult challenges that will inevitably arise. Losing a basketball game, missing a volleyball serve, or running poorly in a race are examples of defeats that might seem like the end of the world to many of our young students. However, we use these situations as a opportunity to help students learn and grow. Obstacles and failure are a part of life. Students learn through athletics and coaching to put forth their best effort, work hard, and persevere. Along the way, we hope to instill confidence and improve social skills, both on and off the field. It’s not about winning trophies, but representing themselves and Horizon Academy in a positive way.
Let me end by sharing that within my job as PE teacher and coach, I have observed numerous students who often do not succeed on the first attempt, but continue to try until they make the basket, win the game, or beat their previous race time. One example occurred during my first year coaching basketball club. There was one student who consistently struggled to make a basket; he had never successfully made a shot from the free throw line. It was a constant battle for this student. In every practice, he would shoot the ball one after another. Sometimes he got frustrated, and some days he wanted to quit. Instead of admitting defeat, he persisted every day in practice. On one of the last days of the club, he made his first free throw. I will never forget the shriek of excitement and his giant smile. This is among the many reasons I do what I do every day.