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Rose Bowl Institute Launches Civic Literacy Project With ‘Sportsmanship as Citizenship’ Theme

Published on Friday, March 3, 2023 | 3:51 pm

In its continued effort to champion sportsmanship, leadership, and citizenship, the Rose Bowl Institute announced Friday it has launched its “Sportsmanship as Citizenship” civic literacy program.

While it is intended to grow to be national in scope, the program launched locally this past week in the Pasadena Unified School District with school appearances at Marshall Fundamental Secondary School and Pasadena High School.

Partnering with the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Ready, Set, Gold! in Los Angeles, and coordinating initially with the Pasadena Unified School District, the project sends athletes to high schools to promote the value of sportsmanship and show students the parallels between good sportsmanship and good citizenship. They then leave behind materials and resources from the non-partisan National Constitution Center for follow-up learning activity.

“The Rose Bowl Stadium has impacted generations in such emotional ways,” said Jens Weiden, Chief Executive Officer / General Manager of America’s Stadium. “The Rose Bowl Institute putting athletes in schools in extending that impact into our communities, starting with PUSD, and will deepen the understanding of sportsmanship’s value to all of us as we grow and live our lives.”

The purpose of the program is to interest American youth in becoming good citizens on the field and in their communities. The Rose Bowl Institute seeks to inspire students by facilitating athletes to speak in schools on sportsmanship as citizenship. Athletes have the students’ attention and respect and can get messages across.

John Naber, five-time Olympic medalist and former world swimming record-holder, spoke to students at a Marshall School Town Hall, describing the elements of sportsmanship and showing the parallels to the elements of good citizenship. Among those elements for both are fair play (rule of law), respectful competition (respect for the “other”), teamwork (collaboration) and appreciation for the game (understanding the democratic process).

Cody Jones, a Paralympian born with cerebral palsy, set records throwing the javelin for the U.S. Paralympian Track and Field team and authored the inspirational children’s book, Henry Makes It on Top. He spoke on March 1 to Pasadena High School.

Ready, Set, Gold! sponsors Olympic and Paralympic athletes to speak to student populations on pro-social subjects. Under this program’s auspices, it provided two athletes to Pasadena schools to launch this nationwide program.

“This country needs more attention to civic literacy. The Rose Bowl Institute is delighted to partner with such luminary organizations in bringing attention to this critical topic to schools, beginning in our hometown, Pasadena,” said Institute president Charlie Firestone. “By gaining the students’ attention with inspiring athletes,” added Program Director Lauren Hall, “this session awakens their appetite for learning more about American democracy.”

All in all, then, being a good sport is just as important as being a good pure athlete. A sportsmanship mentality is better than “winning at all costs.” And being a good citizen is critical to the future of this country.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Rose Bowl Institute in this important endeavor to educate American youth on civics via references to sportsmanship.” said Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center. “Our National Constitution Center materials designed for this program allow students and teachers alike to pursue interests in the Constitution and our rights and responsibilities.”

For more information on the Rose Bowl Institute please email, or call (626) 577-3100.

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