By T.J. Hug
Sports are about more than simply winning and losing, though that’s certainly important.
Athletes who give it their all as individuals, while admirable, miss the point as well. So do the ones who rely on nothing but statistics to tell them who is successful and who is not. Athletic competition is all about groups coming together to overcome adversity. It may take a different form in each sport, but teamwork is the lowest common denominator in almost all of them.
That’s why, when the Montpelier Athletic Department announced that their high school sports teams were going to work together to rake leaves for the community, they wasted no time in looking for places their student athletes could be put to work. They knew the kids would make short work of their chore, thanks to the gift of cooperation.
The locations where the volunteers raked were predetermined. In preparation of the event, the athletic department put out word weeks ago that they were in search of people who might need assistance gathering their leaves. From there, it was only a matter of organization to get the kids to the places where they were most needed.
They began raking at 1:00 P.M. Appointments had already been set, so the student athletes had no trouble finding places in which they could work.
While the raking was intended to last until 4:00 P.M., the students, coaches, and boosters worked so hard that they were able to complete their task early. By 3:00 P.M., all the work was already done.
Afterward, the participants gathered back by the football field, where refreshments were served. Then, they took their rakes and went home, taking with them the satisfaction that can only come from several individuals acting as one.
T.J. Hug can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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