In what is believed to be a first in the long history of Prior Lake/Savage youth sports; PLHS (Prior Lake High School), P.L.A.Y. (Prior Lake Athletics for Youth), PLSHA (Prior Lake Savage Hockey Association), PLSC (Prior Lake Soccer Club), and Prior Lake Wrestling have come together to unify in an effort to improve our youth sports experience. These efforts are meant to be high-level collaborative ideas and actions to create consistent messaging and enhancements across all youth sports organizations in Prior Lake/Savage.
We have named this group the Laker Athletic Alliance (LAA). The Laker Athletic Alliance is currently made up of board members from each youth sports organization and Jeff Marshall, the Athletic Director of Prior Lake High School. Also included is a small group of student athlete leaders from the high school. These students are vital to the Alliance as they give us first-hand knowledge of good and bad behaviors they observe.
The first initiative of the LAA is to combat bullying. Bullying is as prevalent as ever. We see this in many different forms including socially, verbally, physically and in the cyber world, specifically within social media. We have had numerous meetings in the past few months to create and develop a campaign that we all stand behind and are passionate about. The anti-bullying campaign has been introduced to school and city administrators with overwhelming support. We have had two luncheons with the student leaders to discuss a logo and motto, and the board members have put in many hours to develop messaging that will be used across all the youth sports organizations.
You will begin to see this logo and hashtag on social media posting, uniforms, helmets, shirts, posters, apparel, etc. The visibility of this campaign will be a great tool for the youth sports community to be constantly and consistently reminded to treat each other with respect and kindness. While this campaign is great, the real work is in all of our actions and words. We need to lead the effort to change the culture and eliminate bullying. We need to raise our standards, hold ourselves accountable, and set good examples for our children, our siblings, our teammates, our coaches, our officials, our teachers, and our classmates. This starts by being mindful of every interaction every day. We also need to be brave and have hard conversations with our children at home regarding bullying.
Let's all come together as a community to create a welcoming and safe environment for all of the Prior Lake youth sports community and our community as a whole!