Eighteen schools across King County gathered at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie this week to develop a plan for better sportsmanship. The forum brought together student leaders from a variety of areas including athletics, student government, and mentorship programs.

“By the end of it, hopefully, they’ll have a better understanding of how they define it, and that’s the main thing and then some of the challenges that they may face in the groups they need to work with. The work really starts when they go back to their building,” said forum organizer Patrick Brown, Athletic Director at Squalicum High School in Bellingham. “You have to make sure you reach out to the parents and understand that we have this really high expectation for sportsmanship at our school and over time, you’ve created this culture of good sportsmanship.”

The idea was for the students to create a plan, which all schools can agree on, that the student leaders take back to the communities that they represent.

“We want to make sure as many kids as possible can work on this, so it’s a collaborative thing and hopefully it becomes a cultural thing because you have all these different groups addressing it,” Brown said.

Mathew Warner is a student leader at Bothell High School and was one of the participants in the forum.

“I just think it is really good to learn how to be a great cooperative team altogether and have all the schools working in union,” Warner said. “It’s really nice that we have here Woodinville. Woodinville is a huge rival of Bothell, and Inglemoor, a huge rival of Bothell. And we can put things aside and even though I may not like the result of the Woodinville-Bothell game, or the Inglemoor-Bothell game, I can say, 'Hey, You’re still a human. You’re still a teenager in high school.' And I can relate to them, and I can really see how they felt, how it looks on their side. And you can’t always see that from your side of the boat.”

Claire Lis is a senior at Mount Si.

“We have a lot of sporting events through Kingco (Conference) that are pretty large, and we get a pretty big student population to show up, and it’s not the easiest to control the crowds,” Lis said. “Being able to have other kids and being able to educate other people on how to best handle situations ensures that we can have, hopefully, smoother events and have more and how to have more kids briefed on what is going on and how to come back with answers.”