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The True Spirit of Competition

This week is Championship Week for student-athletes in the Delta School District. All of our basketball teams are competing in the playoffs for the right to be named Delta Champions. These games are the culmination of months of hard work and a fabulous display of the talents of our Delta student-athletes. In the Grade 8 boys semi-final game between South Delta and North Delta, spectators were treated to an emotional display of sportsmanship and reminded of why school sports and all co-curricular activities are such a powerful avenue for teaching teamwork, modelling respect, and building character.  

Entering the game, North Delta was the heavy favourite and as a result the South Delta team decided to play everyone equally before moving onto a battle for third place and a spot in the Fraser Valley Championships. Coaches Robyn Cleaver (SD), Jesse Hundal (ND), and Gary Sandhu (ND) met prior to tip-off to discuss how to handle game. It was decided that all the players would be informed that South Delta planned to play everyone equally, including their team manager (Brodie) who lives with Autism. Cleaver, Hundal, and Sandhu have spent a great deal of time this season building character amongst their players and felt comfortable that it should be left up to the players to manage the game. The result was an entertaining event filled with displays of greatness and sportsmanship that eclipses the sport. 

At North Delta, we promote Husky PRIDE (Performance, Respect, Integrity, Diversity, Environment) - and the members of the Grade 8 boys basketball team take this very seriously. With three minutes remaining in the first quarter, Brodie entered the game for the first time. Everyone could feel the excitement as it was clear that Brodie is an important member of the South Delta team. The players on the North Delta team recognized the significance of the moment and gave Brodie every opportunity to shine. Both teams seemed to forget that this was a playoff game and ignored the score, choosing to embrace the comraderie that sport can provide. Everytime Brodie drove to the hoop, there was a buzz in the gym and when he scored his first basket both benches erupted with cheers of excitement. It was a moment no one will forget.

Today, the teams will no doubt return their focus to the important tasks at hand - South Delta attempting to claim third place and North Delta going for their second straight District Championship. But for a moment, the game, the score, and the championship banner seemed insignificant as these boys personified coaching legend John Wooden's belief that "what you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player." What an incredible display of the true spirit of competition. 

Thank you to all our student-athletes, team managers and coaches for your commitment to excellence and fair play.