How about an awards night?
Whether it be dance, drama, sport or school, it's concert and awards season. The time of year where we celebrate our kids annual efforts.
Last night I attended the Good Shepherd Primary School Cheerleading concert. It's a chance for the kids to show off the routines they've been working on all year and to throw in a few extra dances and stunts in celebration of their skill.
I wasn't there to watch my children or to coach the kids. I wasn't even there to coordinate or emcee. For the first time ever I fronted up as a guest to just sit, watch and enjoy their achievements.
This concert is obviously important to me given I founded the program. The lady who now runs it is one of my dearest friends. A friendship born from a legacy created by Tahlia and I.
Last night was different for me because I really was just a bystander. I've actually not seen any of the routines live from start to finish all year. I was watching with fresh eyes. Eyes that remembered these children from a year, 2 years even 6 years ago. I got to see just how much they've improved.
When we officially stepped away this time last year, we left our mark via a "Spirit Award" which is a perpetual trophy acknowledging the values, enthusiasm, support and respect we hope the children learn through the program. Last night I got to present that award to a child who I hear is an absolute honour to coach.
At the concert all 80+ children were awarded with an individual trophy. Something to acknowledge that they have left the year with more skill and knowledge than they had at the start. Some kids also got certificates to acknowledge they were Spirit Award finalists. One of our long term fave coaches was also given extra attention for her many years of service and dedication to the squad.
One young man received an award for outstanding commitment and improvement. His award was so special to watch because I adore him. I coached him closely a couple of years ago, just for a very short while, as we transitioned him into the sport. He's a child that has had some extra challenges and required a little more support to get him started. So many coaches have been privileged to work with him since that first day. To see him run across the floor doing handsprings gave me happy tears. His dreams are coming true.
I guess that's what these end of year concerts and awards ceremonies are about. Watching children making their dreams come true. It may be only a short lived dream, one born from pop culture or the current fad. It may be a long term dream that will follow them forever. It may not be a dream at all but an activity "forced" on them by culture, family or society. Regardless, each person walks out in December with more than they had in January. Even if only the knowledge that they made it to the end.
Have you attended an end of year concert yet?
How about an awards night?
What activities did your children do this year?
Perhaps you're the one that's being celebrated?
Before I go, I leave you with this thought.
A coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a life time.
- Billy Graham -