Collaborative Leadership

Collaborative leadership among student leaders, schools, parents/guardians, and community organizations is vital in creating an intramural program that values diverse perspectives, ensures representation, and provides enriching experiences for all involved.  

 Student Leadership  

Student leadership plays a pivotal role in the success and impact of intramural programs. Student leaders can effectively shape the programming, ensuring it is tailored to the interests and needs of their peers. Engaging student leaders involves recruiting representatives from diverse groups, offering various leadership roles to accommodate different interests and abilities, and establishing a platform that values and amplifies student voices. When students take on leadership roles, they have an increased sense of ownership and belonging that creates an inclusive environment where all students can thrive. 

Forming an Inclusive Intramural Committee  

An inclusive intramural committee is a diverse group of individuals within a school community who collaboratively plan, organize, and oversee programming. Key considerations for establishing a committee include:  

  • Consider the composition of the committee. Include student leaders, staff, administration, and other volunteers, such as parents/guardians, caregivers, and community representatives, to ensure a manageable distribution of tasks and responsibilities and to broaden the program's reach and impact. 
  • Prioritize representation and inclusion within the committee, aiming for diversity in age, gender, cultural background, and ability. 
  • Include individuals with a variety of interests and hobbies to incorporate perspectives and experiences that extend beyond sports-related activities. 
  • Choose a selection process, such as open invitation, self-nomination, staff member nomination, interview, or a combination of those processes. Actively recruit students as needed to ensure representation within the group. 
  • Invite staff members working with diverse student populations to participate in the committee and/or identify potential student representatives. 

Considerations for Running a Committee 

To effectively manage an inclusive intramural committee, consider implementing the following actions: 

  • Ensure that the committee's expectations and the roles and responsibilities of its members are communicated clearly. 
  • Offer a variety of roles and responsibilities to accommodate diverse interests and strengths. 
  • Involve an administrator(s) to establish connections with other health and wellness programs and ensure alignment with school goals. 
  • Establish tasks such as attending meetings, conducting surveys, developing an action plan, and implementing programming. 
  • Create a schedule for committee meetings and set a standard time and place to help support consistent attendance. 
  • Regularly assess and reflect on equity, seeking feedback from students and staff to identify areas for improvement. 
  • Acknowledge and celebrate committee successes, reinforcing a positive and supportive environment. 
  • Provide training and resources to committee members on equity, inclusion, and cultural competency. 

School Community  

Engaging the school community in intramurals involves sparking excitement among students, empowering school staff, and fostering parent/guardian and caregiver engagement to create a dynamic and inclusive program.  

Strategies for Engaging the School Community  

Sparking Student Excitement  

  • Kickstart the program with a special event, such as an assembly or a staff/student game, to generate enthusiasm throughout the school community.  
  • Collaborate with colleagues to introduce intramural activities in class, building anticipation and excitement among students.  
  • Organize physical activities, like group yoga or a friendly competition, that brings together school staff and students. 
  • Share program updates through announcements, bulletin boards and social media. Incorporate student-generated and delivered messages to foster ownership and engagement. 
  • Plan interactive intramural demonstrations during lunch breaks or special events, allowing students to experience firsthand the fun and engaging nature of different activities. 

Empowering School Staff 

  • Promote a sense of belonging and inclusion by inviting and encouraging school staff of all backgrounds and experiences to take part in intramural activities.  
  • Set aside specific time during staff meetings or professional development days for school staff to participate in planned physical activities, ensuring consideration for diverse abilities, comfort levels, and accessibility needs.  
  • Explore opportunities to integrate intramurals with the curriculum by aligning activities with those introduced in Physical Education and Health lessons. 

Partnering with Parents/Guardians and Caregivers  

  • Engage parents/guardians and caregivers to explore potential contributions, such as coaching, facilitating or organizing events.  
  • See supervision requirements in OPASSE
  • Establish regular communication channels to keep parents/guardians and caregivers informed about activities and opportunities for involvement.  
  • Create spectator events or parent/guardian vs. student activities to encourage participation and strengthen engagement.  

Community Partnerships  

Community partnerships can greatly enhance the quality and impact of intramural programs by providing additional resources, expertise, and support. This allows schools to tap into a wealth of knowledge and connections that can enrich the intramural experience for all students.  

Strategies for Engaging Community Partners:  

  • Engage potential community partners, such as sports clubs, non-profits, businesses, and educational institutions, by initiating contact and communicating program objectives. 
  • Prioritize partners that serve marginalized and/or underrepresented groups or interests, such as adaptive sports teams, cultural associations, performing arts organizations, and outdoor education groups. 
  • Explore collaborations with colleges and universities to access specialized coaching, equipment, and student volunteers.  
  • Develop relationships and build sustainable partnerships by prioritizing regular communication, frequent check-ins, and collaborative evaluation of shared goals and objectives.