Athletic programs have been an integral part of the CPLS curriculum since the founding of the school with the very first kindergarten class in 1980. Field days and physical education classes have always been included in the course offerings and calendar. When the school began to establish an athletics department for the purpose of organizing teams sports for interscholastic competition, it was determined that the department would be established with attention to five key pillars of athletic participation.
Understanding that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and a true gift from God is essential to a commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Training in some degree of conditioning so that we are better able to perform the duties and functions of daily life with the proper alertness and energy is an integral part of the CPLS curriculum. Programs such as field days, physical education classes and team sports enable us to promote a greater degree of physical fitness in our students and families.
Competition provides a more enjoyable end to the means of physical conditioning. To be able to develop a skill and participate in contests makes the running, lifting and training far more tolerable. Competition also provides a forum for fellowship and interaction with other schools. Whether we are competing against opponents of like faith or letting our light shine before those who do not share our beliefs, competition gives us something to which we can look forward to as we condition our bodies and develop skills that will enable us to continue to enjoy exercise and activity.
Through athletics, we learn the valuable lessons that come with membership as part of a team. All of the positive benefits of teamwork; camaraderie, self-sacrifice, deference and encouragement, are available to those who participate on teams in pursuit of the same goal. We learn to rejoice with one another’s achievements and to commiserate in defeats. We learn the valuable lesson that no one person can be the “team” and that every member plays an important role in the pursuit of success.
The development of a person’s character is, of course, of paramount concern at CPLS. Athletic competition provides a forum for that development like few other curricular offerings. Through athletics we learn commitment, self-control, the importance of our outward testimony, respect for authority, how to play within rules, and much more. We are often pushed to a point at which we must choose to give up or press on. We agree with Rudyard Kipling that maturity of character is demonstrated “…if you can force your heart, and nerve, and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you, except the will that says to them, “Hold on!”
This is the chief end of all aspects of training at Cair Paravel Latin School. Students are often reminded that Jesus Himself lived and played perfectly as a thirteen year old, fifteen year old, eighteen year old, etc. Granted, basketball and golf may not yet have been invented (though there is some evidence for soccer), but whatever the pursuits Jesus followed in His youth, His participation had to have been marked by the aforementioned character qualities and many more. Students are challenged to do all things to the glory of God and are trained that sporting events are one of the best forums for letting their light so shine before men that they may see their good works and glorify their Father in heaven.