Giving a voice to students is important to all of us at Verbum Dei. Our young men need chances and encouragement– as all people do – the express ideas and interests they feel are important to them. Verbum Dei is no different from other schools; we historically have done a magnificent job offering a traditional variety of clubs, sports and service interactions that allow our boys to show off their talents. These opportunities are extremely important to their growth.
We recently analyzed feedback however that showed a sub-set of our students is not involved in extra-curricular activities. Sports may not be their thing, and clubs may not interest all. I feel however, some of those students still want chances to shine at things that interest them. We have to continue to look for ways to be inclusive with our students, and I recently found evidence of a team activity trending in high schools that may have a chance to take root.
Next fall, technology is looking to take the lead in forming an ESports club. What is ESports? Esports is a growing force in the entertaining and video gaming community where teams compete against one another playing sanctioned video games. The games require teams of players to compete together in competitions that require rich layers of planning, strategy, communication, delegation, and instruction. Players need to coordinate actions together – much like other team sports – in order to succeed. These – I believe – are transferrable life skills applicable to many careers and opportunities in real life.
We recently sent out a survey to our students seeking levels of interest and experience in video gaming. It comes as no surprise to any of us that our boys are quite enthusiastic about it. Many report having great interest in – and knowledge of – the specific games played in official competitions. I believe Esports can provide a way for these students who normally are not involved in club or sports to give them a chance to fit in, and succeed when utilizing skills they are good at.
If the club is approved next year to compete against other high schools in official competitions, we will look to fund raise for computing equipment and entrance fees. Keep your fingers crossed.