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        Athletics play an essential part in the education of the person. Because the person forms an integral body-soul unity, the body and the soul cannot be educated apart from one another. As Aristotle first observed, all knowledge comes through the senses. Moral virtue and intellectual discipline are therefore fostered greatly by rigorous physical training. In the classical tradition strength-training and virtue are even related etymologically: the English word “virtue” comes directly from the ancient Latin word meaning “strength” or “power.”

        In physical activity, the proportions studied in geometry’s extension into three-dimensional space—stereometry—are embodied by the student according to the ideal proportions of the human figure first set down by Vitruvius and most famously figured forth artistically by Da Vinci in his Vitruvian Man (c. 1490) and by Michelangelo in his David (1508). The ideally educated classical liberal arts student embodies these proportions to the degree that the genetic lottery makes it possible.

        For the life of grace the pursuit of physical fitness provides a concrete image and a fitting analogy for the pursuit of Christian perfection. This is one of the reasons that the corpus on the cross, the figure of Jesus in the history of art, is always represented in perfect physical proportion. The ideal perfection of “the only man who ever lived,” our Lord, has historically been presented in art not without reference to physical excellence.

        Goals of Our Athletics Program

        1. Foster personal virtue through physical activity.

        2. Cultivate an understanding of the place of physical activity in education and in life.

        3. Teach an appreciation of how ‘the rules’ in sports are paralleled by (i) ‘the laws’ of the physical universe, (ii) ‘the rights’ of the person in community, (iii) ‘the duties’ owed by the citizen to society, (iv) ‘the norms’ of virtuous and holy living, and (v) ‘the demands’ of Sacred Liturgy (cf. Pope Benedict XVI, The Spirit of the Liturgy).

        4. Give students an ethic and experience of team-work, cooperative and collaborative success, and an appreciation of the importance of complementary roles and responsibilities where “unequal things are treated unequally,” including winning and losing (cp. Aristotle, Ethics).

        5. Accomplish 1-5 (above) through an experiential and reflective pedagogy.