2012: What a year in sports!

December 20, 2012
Hockey Players Shake Hands

I noticed the top three stories in sport this past year, as determined by a poll in North America, were: the Penn State Sandusky scandal, the Lance Armstrong scandal, and the NFL bounty scandal. In order: child molestation, doping, and violence in sports were the top stories. I wonder if we have a problem with values in sport when the top three stories of the past year don’t include amazing sport performances or accomplishments.

Where are the amazing performances from the London Olympics, the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup, the World Series, and all the various world championships? All eclipsed by stories of sport gone wrong.

When sport is driven by the singular preoccupation of winning, it seems like everything can be rationalized. Somehow we can convince ourselves that our actions make sense because they support the only goal that has value: winning.

We need a sport system driven by more than the singular value of winning. We need a sport system driven by the seven sport principles Canadians have told us they want their sport driven by – the True Sport Principles (www.truesport.ca/principles). We know that if sport is driven by these principles, sport performances will be enhanced (i.e., more winning) and the benefits of sport will be magnified. The Canadian Sport Policy 2012 also identifies the need for these seven principles in their values section of the Policy.

True Sport is a way to bring these principles into sport in a meaningful and effective way. When the seven principles drive a sport experience, the top stories of the year will be a lot different than this year’s sordid examples.