Quill Lake Senior Girls Volleyball Team - Sportsmanship Award
(Presentation delivered on Jan 10/2010)
(Speech given by Kevin Vollet - SHSAA )
Thank you very much for inviting me to Quill Lake School, to share in your schools and your community’s celebration of your accomplishments both athletically and more importantly, with regard to SPORTSMANSHIP.

We are here today to applaud the accomplishments of the girl’s volleyball team. Not only have they shown their skill on the court, but also we are here today to acknowledge the team, the school, the community and the fans for their display of good conduct both on and off the court.

The sportsmanship banner was first awarded by the SHSAA in 1996. The program is sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Saskatchewan. This group has been a key corporate sponsor and supporter of high school athletics for many years, even before the introduction of these banners.
Our Association approached the Dairy Farmers with the idea of honoring a team at a provincial championship that exemplifies the spirit of sportsmanship that the SHSAA and schools, value so much. As one of the Association’s guiding principle, sportsmanship is just as important if not more important to high school athletics as is crowning a provincial champion. The ‘blue banner’, as it is often referred, is a highly respected honor that most teams are aware of and that a majority of teams strive to accomplish along with shooting for gold. Sportsmanship is not something that can be turned on or off at the provincials, rather it is lived and practiced, all throughout the year.

        How do we choose a recipient for the banner?
At each SHSAA provincial team championship (soccer, volleyball, basketball, curling and wrestling), we establish three committees, which include the host, the officials and the shsaa rep. These committees observe throughout the weekend, the players, the coaches and the fans, during and between games. They observe the conduct of the team and their efforts towards sportsmanship as well as their interaction with the hosts, the other teams and the officials. At the conclusion of the event, the three groups submit their top 3 choices and from this list, the worthy recipient is chosen. Following the championship, we contact the school and inform them of the honor bestowed upon them and ask to be present at an event such as this to present the banner to them.

What is sportsmanship?

        This is the very reason why we are gathered here today. To applaud not only the accomplishments of the team but to congratulate the school, the coaching staff, the parents and the fans for their combined belief of being good sports. It begins at home, it is reinforced by school administration and it is reminded to the players by the coaching staff. With all these outside influences guiding the players in a direction, it is also a big part of the players. It comes from within – an ATTITUDE.
        Sportsmanship has many definitions.

        Responsibility. You have a responsibility to compete fairly and the best of your ability. Never let the heat of the moment get the best of you as a person. Don’t allow others to say that he is a different person when he is on or off the field. You are who you are. People tend to remember the side of the person that shows the negative side of the personality. You are the only one that is in control and you are responsible for your actions.

        Respect. - is another term synonymous with sportsmanship.
        Your school has been selected as having been the team that best exemplified each of the above traits - Respect and Responsibility - In a word Sportsmanship. From the various reports from the committees established at the Provincial Championships in Milestone, it was evident that this team not only competed to the best of their ability, but also did so with a sense of respect and honor that made them stand out from the other teams. This school and especially in the sport of volleyball is steeped in tradition. From the early days with Felix to present day teams under Kellie’s guidance, the Quill Lake volleyball teams have competed at a very high level as well as conducting themselves with great dignity. I can say this without reservation as I had the pleasure of attending the 2006 2A Girls Volleyball Championships held here at Quill Lake, as well as observing them at last year’s 2A Girls provincials in Davidson. The SHSAA prides itself in the fact that many of the school programs across the province conduct themselves with great dignity. When our students face the perils of the real world, the kind of demenour that our student-athletes possess due to their involvement in school sport is what people will judge them. They won’t care how many medals our students possess from their high school days, but how they conduct themselves in real-life situations. It is this character that school sport develops that will lead our students to success in their lives. Your entire school should be very proud of not only the team’s conduct, but also of your entire school’s demeanor in all activities that they participate in. The entire team was outstanding ambassadors for the school and the community – right from the coaching staff of Kellie Maslin. It is very easy to see why this team conducts themselves the way that we as an Association are proud of as is the school and the community. The players especially showed great respect for all involved including the game, which is sometimes tough to do in playoff atmosphere. The fans were also mentioned as being very supportive of their team yet cheering for good competition.
        Congratulations.  The Quill Lake Hornets, their coaches and their supporters. They have made themselves, their school, their community and the SHSAA very proud of their athletic and sportsmanship accomplishments at the 1A Girls’ Provincial Volleyball Championships. For these accomplishments we would like to present the sportsmanship banner that will hang proudly in your school as a symbol of the importance of respect in athletics and the sportsmanship displayed by this team.