Agape: Learning values, lessons through sports
Agape Christian School encouraged its students to engage in spots, not to win medals, but more than that.
“We want our students to learn values and lessons by playing sports,” said Agape principal Jimeian Pang, who assisted their over than 50 students that participated in this month’s Saipan Marathon.
Five Agape students won in their respective age groups in the 50K, full marathon, half marathon, 10K events of the March 10 competition, while others had respectable finishes in their division.
“Winning is good, but learning things after winning or losing are better. We’re happy to see out students win in competition, but we are more than happy to see them become a better person, a better student,” said Pang when asked why Agape almost always participates in sports events, particularly in running competitions on Saipan.
“Through sports, they learn teamwork, gain confidence, become humble, and get stronger,” Pang said.
Pang explained that most of Agape students are from off-island and when they first came to Saipan, they were very timid and wanted to be left alone. However, as the days go by and they are exposed to sports and other activities, they are improving, learning to work together with their classmates and are eager to perform better both in academics and sports.
“You have to believe me when I say our students seldom get sick because they are too active in sports. Even though we have P.E. classes twice a week, we feel they are not enough, so we encourage are students to join sports whether it’s within the school or in the community,” the Agape principal said.
William Chen was among the Agape students who won in the half marathon race this month—a feat he achieved despite having difficulties throughout the race.
“I am a bit injured and it was really hard to do the race. But, when I looked at my shirt, I am wearing Agape uniform, so I don’t want to quit for my school. I am proud to represent the school and in every sport we join, our school reminds us not to quit, but instead work hard,” said Chen, who was the top finisher in the boys 15 to 19 age group’s half marathon.
Peter Wang did the longest race—the 50K—and he prevailed in the 15 to 19 division, too, thanks to the support of his fellow students and Agape officials.
“I would not be able to do it if not for the help of my teammates and our school officials during the training and the race itself,” the 17-year-old Wang said
Majority of Agape students who raced in this year’s Saipan Marathon placed in the middle of the pack and some were at the last batch of finishers, but Pang said the students are moving on and do not mind if they missed winning a medal.
“In sports, you do not always win. You fall down, but get up and move on to try your best to perform better the next time. Our students learn these lesson after joining sports competitions and they can also apply these in life once they are out of our school and ready to start another journey,” Pang said.