Sports officiating is an honorable avocation that seeks people, both young and the young-at-heart, with strong moral character and integrity. Officials must be fair-minded, have the courage to make tough and quick decisions and possess excellent people skills to build rapport and professional relationships with fellow officials, coaches and student-athletes. In recent years, the number of such valuable and vital people to the success of school sports programs has been in decline. We wanted to personally thank each official that worked with our teams from December 17th until December 21st. This week included free meals courtesy of Jimmy John's of Oxford, personalized profiles for the Oxford Athletics social media pages and short video interviews that asked different questions for future officials.
Please take a look at this recap video from our #OfficialsAppreciationWeek –
"Officials Appreciation Week was a success," said Oxford Community Schools Director of Athletics, Jordan Ackerman. "We received a lot of positive feedback from the officials that we had the privilege of honoring. We are looking forward to making this an annual event and we have even talked about making it a seasonal event. Research and studies provide us a very basic idea and that is if you want to create an environment and culture where people enjoy coming to work and giving their best, simply appreciate and value their efforts. While we value our Officials every day, Officials Appreciation Week allowed the opportunity to publicly recognize the hard work of the MHSAA officials who sacrifice personal time with their families to provide a competitive and safe environment for student-athletes. Additionally, it allowed us to display the human side of these men and women which allowed the fans to relate to them. We received a lot of support from schools throughout the state. It is my hope that other schools will create an Officials Appreciation Week of their own so we can continue to acknowledge the efforts of the men and women officials throughout the state. At the end of the day, we want to support our Officials every day and encourage those who are thinking about becoming an official to take the next step."
"Officials Appreciation Week turned out to be such a fun way to show gratitude to both our middle school and high school referees" said Oxford Community Schools Athletic Event Coordinator, Bryan Brandeberry. "What a pleasure it was to gain insight on some of the personal lives of our referees and find out what they find special in their jobs. Thank you for maintaining the integrity of interscholastic athletics and always putting our student athletes first!"
Thank you to the MHSAA for their acknowledgment on Twitter –