I have been to many of the scholastic nationals both as a coach and a tournament director. As a coach I have a little more time to observe what goes on around the tournament venue. There's always something that makes an impression on me. What grabbed my attention this time was the group of children from Norwood Elementary of Miami. First of all, they were the sharpest looking chess team out there with their matching bright yellow windbreakers, shirts, and blue back packs. They were not hard to miss!
Every round you would see them lined up, and go into the playing hall as a team. What impressed me was how orderly the line was. No kids jumping out of line. Nobody yelling or giving the parents, chaperons or teachers a hard time. They went in and quietly found their seat and got down to the business of playing chess.
When the kids finished they would go to back of the room where parents and coaches were sitting. They would sit quietly with the adults who accompanied them and wait for all their teammates to finish.
When everyone was done, they'd line up and leave the playing hall as a team.
After the last round was done, as each child filed by, this one chaperon gave each child a big hug, and words of praise and encouragement. It was really a very sweet moment for these children. This was their first nationals, and I'm sure for many of them their first time away from Miami. I spoke to a couple of the parents and the assistant principal. I could tell they were really proud of their kids and their school. They had every right to be. They really impressed me with their behavior and discipline. They did their school proud. They may not have won many trophies, but they won the respect of those who observed their fine behavior. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who noticed.
The Norwood Tigers were grrrrrrrrreat!!!
Go Tigers! I hope to see you in Nashville next April for the Super Nationals.
The post above was one I took from the link you see on top. Barbara Reed of Norwood sent it to me. Barbara has been doing this for a while. She does an awesome job as you can seen. Even impartial observers can see. Congratulations!