Sportsmanship, camaraderie and team building all culminated last night in the third annual Perkins’ sports banquet. Nine coaches proudly recognized eighty-two participants that played six sports including soccer, basketball, dirt bike riding, softball, horseback riding, and martial arts. “This number represents more athletes than ever before,” Assistant Executive Director for Programs Tim Hammond said.
The soccer, basketball and softball teams are part of a well-established local league and have the opportunity to experience both home and away games in the course of the season. “We always hear compliments about our students attitudes, effort and sportsmanship when we travel,” Tim said.
This year, for the first time, Rein in a Dream and their horseback riders were also included. Rein in a Dream recognized two students last night for their love of horses and their great respect for both the animals and the sport.
Also new this year was Perkins affiliation with a local martial arts academy located in Leominster. According to Tim, the sensei, or teacher, is great with students and is able to get the information across to them so that they can acquire the skills quickly and effectively. “We had four students, total beginners, who were able to earn their yellow belt in eight to 12 weeks,” Tim said. The yellow belt is the second of ten belts that one can earn in martial arts.
Sam Carr received the sportsmanship award for martial arts from Coach Stephanie Bailey. He received the award due to his knowledge of the sport, his effort and because the sensei was impressed by his knowledge of the history of martial arts.
All six sports gave out a total of eight sportsmanship awards. The awards were given to the student who had the best attendance, an excellent attitude and showed great effort both on and off the field.
Tim acknowledged that this event could not be possible without the dedication of great coaches and the great athletic programs. “We put a lot of time and energy into our sports, and we get a lot of support from groups like the Boston Bruins Foundation and the Boston Red Sox Foundation whose generous donations help us run these programs. They know and we know the value of sports and sportsmanship and are passionate and excited to pass it onto others.”