Since my first day at the Sports Commission, the St. Louis Catholic Youth Council (CYC) has been an outstanding partner and supporter when it comes to promoting sportsmanship. CYC leagues view sports as a ministry, something that helps develop young people holistically.
Sportsmanship is specifically mentioned in CYC’s mission. It’s also expected by coaches, parents, fans and officials. I’ve had the honor of working with CYC on many programs, but what CYC’s South Central District has done marks a first in the life of The Sportsmanship Guy.
The league sent the following message to its members and has also made it available on their website:
CYC South-Central 2018 Season Pre-Game Prayer.
We want to remind everyone that we are emphasizing sportsmanship and spirit at all CYC South Central basketball games this season. As such, we’d like to ask you all to join us in prayer asking for help with this initiative.
Home team coach:
Lord, please help us to remember that in CYC Sports our focus is on Sportsmanship, which means much more than just winning or losing. We would like to pray for the safety of our young athletes, and also that we all share the strength to foster a positive environment for both our teams.
Now, let’s all pray our sportsmanship motto together:
Teams Play, Fans Cheer, Refs Officiate and Everyone Stays Positive! Amen…
All CYC teams pray before every game in every sport, but this is the first prayer I’ve seen specific to sportsmanship. This isn’t a joke. Praying directly for what you want God to do is central to the Christian faith. CYC wants improved sportsmanship and they went directly to The Almighty for help.
James 4:2 reads, in part, “Ye have not, because ye ask not…” This is as serious as it gets from a youth sports league. Even for those who are not Christians, it must be understood that CYC put what is most valuable to them, their faith, on the line to help kids.
Kudos to CYC for making such a bold and decisive move.