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Northport 6-12 Flag Football Tournaments

By
Joshua Vander Meulen,   Northport Public School
Play:
Breakfast For Everyone — First Meal Matters
Topics:
Access to Healthy Foods, Physical Activity Participation, Student Leadership, Success with Funds,  Teamwork
Northport  6-12 Flag Football Tournaments
To increase involvement with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, Northport Public School worked to host a 6-12 Flag Football tournament to promote activity throughout the entire secondary. The tournament was organized by senior Brett D, who served as a FUTP 60 Ambassador, while also working to complete his Senior Project. The first tournament was for 6th-8th grade students. It was a single elimination tournament, but did feature a consolation bracket. Student participation was 100% for these grades. The second tournament was for 9th-12th grade students, and was also single elimination. Student participation was optional for this tourney, but 32/46 HS students elected to participate. The other 14 were asked to complete 30 minutes of walking on the track above the gym. In the end, this led to 100% of the 6-12 student body taking part in a physical activity. The tournament was a play that was implemented as part of the Impact Schools funding we received. The money was used to purchase a smoothie maker and fresh fruit for drinks for consumption during snack time. This was tied to the tournament, as the winners of the tournament were awarded a smoothie punch card, good for five free drinks through the school year. In the end, Northport Public School was able to put on a great program that produced several student smiles. Brett's ultimate goal of helping grow FUTP 60 was to remind students that activity can be fun. Anybody that was present during these tournaments will be able to tell he accomplished this objective by leaps and bounds.

How did you accomplish your goals?

The goal of the program was to build a competitive Flag Football tournament, while also promoting the fun of fitness. In order to do this, team construction was examined to ensure chemistry remained strong. On top of this, no detail was left without examination, as the structure needed to be in place, so student activity was not impacted by logistic hiccups. Lastly, communication was done in person and via email to ensure all participants were on the same page in regard to tournament details.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge was a sportsmanship issue we faced during the tournament. One student was overly competitive, which impacted the level of enjoyment some students had participating in the event. The student was flagged during the tournament to curb his behavior, and also was talked to at the conclusion of the day. During tournament awards, the student apologized to the the entire high school for his actions.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

Collaboration between adults and students occurred in two different ways. First, student captains were able to provide their input on tournament structure, allowing them to take ownership of the process, while also following tournament guidelines. Secondly, HS students served as referees for the MS tournament, taking guidance from adults, while also leading the younger students.