Canberra Junior Young Friends Program

 ‘Extreme Sports and Extreme Integrity’

The program theme is Extreme Sports and Extreme Integrity from July 2013 to June 2014 one session per monthIt investigates what extreme athletes can tell us about practicing one of the most challenging of the Quaker testimonies – practicing integrity when the going gets tough.  We look at things from both the everyday and what ‘the still small voice’ inside may be saying.

Friends have a long history of practicing extreme integrity. Many Friends live their lives on the edge, they take risks to make a difference, to follow the ‘still small voice’ inside them. But how do they do this? Is there something we can learn from extreme athletes to practice extreme integrity in our lives today? …questions arising from the group have included: cheating, being inside or outside school groups, bullying, parties, studying, answering the only question grown-ups ever ask ‘what are you going to do when you grow up?’ and the ultimate question – who am I?

If the sports/integrity connection still doesn’t make sense, consider the following list of characteristics of a winning team as define by both Arizona Airspeed, an elite skydiving team and Team Eco-Internet, and adventure racing team: eliminate defensiveness in conversation (listen to everyone), practice consensus decision making, have in place procedures to fix problems which include both positive and negative feedback (so that everyone walks away feeling good even if their performance needs work), share leadership, and a favourite quote; ‘If you’re in a team only to win, winning will disappoint you. Friendship supersedes winning’.

Session 1 ‘Peak performances happen when the mind and body work together at a gold medal level’

2 Prepare, prepare, prepare. ‘If you’re prepared for your adventure, the answer you need in a crisis will come.’

3 Balance and timing. ‘The whole athlete has to be prepared to go to the gym.’

4 Dare to be different. ‘If you question your ability, you only have a slight chance of succeeding.’

5 Competence and practice, practice, practice. ‘When a trick is too fast to visialise in detail, visualise a clear start and finish. Your body will handle the rest.’

6 Living with passion. ‘A desire to succeed can strengthen you but a fear of failure can immobilise you.’

7. Personal responsibility. ‘If you think you’ll need eggs, don’t kill the chickens.’

8. Fuel for up, down and the long run. ‘Junk in means junk out, easy.’

Each Junior Young Friends Meeting begins with a short catch-up, followed by a period of silent worship and then moves into the program activity/discussion. The group joins the large Meeting for Worship for the last 15 minutes of the meeting.