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Columbia High School wins 2016-17 NYSPHSAA Sportsmanship Award

Courier Staff



LATHAM — The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced on Thursday that Columbia High School in East Greenbush was once again a winner of its Sportsmanship Promotion program.

The award is presented to schools who develop proactive approaches to keeping sportsmanship at the forefront of its students, coaches, spectators, and communities.

Columbia High School is receiving the Sportsmanship Promotion Banner Award for the 5th year in a row. Michael Leonard, Columbia’s Athletic Director, has been dedicated to promoting sportsmanship throughout his 14-year tenure. Under his leadership, the student-athletes at Columbia participated in numerous sportsmanship kindness acts throughout the year. Those acts included raising over $5,000 for ovarian cancer research at their 15th annual Teal Ribbon Night, the basketball team raised nearly $3,000 for Coaches vs. Cancer. Students at Columbia who took part in fundraising and charity events spoke about the values of giving back to their communities, and seeing the smiles on the faces of younger students when they spend time together.

Furthermore, Leonard has developed several publications and recognitions to promote sportsmanship including the Athletic Code of Conduct and the pre-season coaches meeting packet.

“Receiving this award speaks volumes about the great coaches, students, parents and community that we have here in East Greenbush,” said Leonard. “It’s very exciting to be honored five years in a row.  I believe Sportsmanship projects/activities are a major key in developing a positive culture in our athletic program, school and community. It also teaches many valuable lessons to all of our student athletes.”

The school is sharing this year’s award with West Genesee High School (Section 3). Both will be honored at the NYSPHSAA’s Central Committee Meeting Luncheon on July 25th in Clayton, NY.

“On behalf of the Association we congratulate our winning schools and applaud them for the efforts they have made to promote positive sportsmanship,” said Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “We are proud to have schools like Columbia and West Genesee set an example and standard for how sportsmanship should be emphasized in communities.  We thank them for their efforts, proactive approach and successful implementation of sportsmanship programs in their schools and communities.”

NYSPHSAA’s Chris Watson contributed to this post