For two weeks of each month, Thurston Middle School students get to kick their fitness and sports activity up a notch with “Noon Sports.” The brainchild of physical education teacher Michael Bair, Noon Sports is a chance for kids to learn how to play organized sports, find the fun in fitness, and gain leadership and social skills. What’s more, it all takes place during the noon recess, teaching kids that they can get a good workout in a short timeframe.
The Noon Sports activities are chosen so there is something for students of every fitness level, including ping-pong, flag football, hockey, basketball, dodge ball and others, and a new sports activity is selected each month. Background music energizes student teams as they compete with each other, and the winning team gets to compete against Thurston’s teachers’ team.
The school’s Leadership Class helps build school builds enthusiasm for Noon Sports by promoting the activities with special announcements and colorful posters, and they also serve as team referees.
It’s a popular event, with almost 200 students participating as athletes and many more make up an appreciative audience. Bair said that students are constantly asking him about participating in the activities.
Through Noon Sports, students “learn good sportsmanship, make new friendships, and build lifelong fitness skills,” said Thurston principal Joanne Culverhouse, adding, “Since students must be in good standing both academically and behaviorally to participate, this popular event is a privilege, which students work to achieve.”