In an Australian first, the High School Esports League (HSEL), along with Riot Games, has partnered with South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and Young People (CCYP) to develop an innovative high school esports program in the region.
Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly, will work alongside HSEL to achieve her strategic goal of engaging and empowering young digital citizens and delivering key messaging about gaming, respectful relationships and sportsmanship.
“Gaming is very important to many young people, and if we make the effort to understand what young people are playing and encourage a healthy relationship with gaming, we will see its benefits too,” Ms Connolly said.
“I want to use this partnership with HSEL and Riot Games as an opportunity to connect with young people in a positive way about gaming and talk to them about how to be good citizens and keep themselves safe online.”
The high school esports program will provide information to students and parents about:
- respectful communications and behaviour when playing online
- developing a better understanding of online gaming, esports and sportsmanship
- building a successful career in gaming – the opportunities and pathways
Adelaide Football Club Chief Operating Officer Nigel Smart said partnering with the Commissioner is an important step for the HSEL to take.
“We are incredibly excited and looking forward to partnering with the Commissioner’s team to provide the High School Esports League platform a chance to deeply engage with students, teachers and parents,” Smart said.
“Gaming is one of the most popular pastimes for students and one of the fastest growing hobbies in the world, so setting up a professionally run and managed high school esports tournament to complement this activity makes sense.
“Engaging with students and building values, respect and improved online behaviours are part of the outcomes we can achieve through High School Esports League.“
“Like traditional sports, online multiplayer games are a major part of our children’s lives at a crucial, formative time where lifelong habits are being developed that inform future success,” Ivan Davies, Riot Games, Social Play and Community Manager said.
“Working in partnership with HSEL and the Commissioner for Children and Young People, we can engage children’s passion for gaming to create truly educational opportunities, much in the same way as other sports or hobbies.”
This comes as the High School League of Legends Championship, where schools Australia-wide will compete against each other in the online game, gets underway this week.
HSEL, which was created by the Adelaide Football Club earlier this year, are the official partners of Riot Games in operating the state championships for Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
State champions will qualify into the Australian and New Zealand championship finals later in the year.
The Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly, was appointed in April 2017 and is responsible for promoting and advocating for the rights, interests and wellbeing of children and young people across South Australia.