Recommended age group: 11–12
Time required: one 45–60 minute session
Equipment: Let's Celebrate activity sheets player for film (optional).


Building team spirit, fun and team work is linked to the Olympic Value of friendship, which is widely demonstrated though sport. This lesson will introduce the Value of friendship through a competitive sporting context. Young people will understand how they can be a friend to others in a sporting context and how to show sportsmanship, fair play and respect during a competitive activity. This practical lesson can be taught through any competitive sporting activity where teams are playing against each other. Young people will create their own team chant, goal celebration and post-match routine.

Part 1

  1. Share your story – divide young people into equal teams and get them to tell each other about when they won a race or a game, how it made them feel and what they did afterwards. Then get them to tell each other about when they lost a race or a game, how it made them feel and what they did afterwards.
  2. Initiate a whole-class discussion based around the following question: young people can share their experiences with each other.
  3. How can you be a good friend in a sporting environment? For example, have you ever stopped in a race to help someone who is injured? Have you congratulated a team mate for scoring a goal? Have you consoled a friend for losing?

Task 1: Explain to the class what a team chant is. It is various movements and verse which can represent the spirit of their team e.g. the Haka in rugby.

Watch a video of the Haka with the class at the start of the lesson, you can find out more about the tradition on the New Zealand tourism website

Part 2

In teams, young people can create their own team chant along with movements. Set criteria for a team chant: five actions and one sentence. They can rehearse these until they get really good. They will then perform this at the start of every game they play.

Task 2: As a class have a go/think about ways to congratulate/support the losing team. As a group vote for a favourite – this is the routine to be completed at the end of the games.

Task 3: Choose a sporting activity whereby two teams compete against each other. Set teams off to play their games and encourage them to perform their team chant at the start of every game and the class's post-match routine at the end. Teams can rotate around and play different opponents and observe all the different team celebrations and acts of sportsmanship that have been displayed throughout the lesson.

  • During the set-up of the activity, challenge a few young people to show unsporting behaviours (e.g. shout at the referee, go off the court because you didn't get passed to). Pause the game at various points to discuss these actions - do they affect how you feel about playing? Are these friendly actions?
  • If there is an uneven number of teams, the team who are not playing could be tasked with writing down the names of individuals who have shown good sportsmanship and potentially those who have shown poor sportsmanship. Alternatively they could write down the good/poor sporting behaviours that they have seen.

Lesson summary

To finish the lesson, get teams to discuss sportsmanship and in particular why friendship is important in sport. Choose an individual or team that has displayed particular supportive behaviour to each other, or other teams, and award them the Achievement badge/sticker for friendship. Explain why you are giving it to them and encourage the class to show support and clap.


  • Find out more about the tradition of the Haka on the New Zealand tourism website.
  • Research what other sporting team traditions there are around the world – such as cheerleaders, team songs or exchanging jerseys – and discuss what these signify to those who take part.