Athletic feats of skill and nail-biting contests garner incredible attention, but one young man captured the admiration of many with his response to a struggling opponent-an example of good sportsmanship defined!
Liverpool and Baldwinsville are villages in Onondaga County, New York. A drive of approximately 15 minutes separates the two.
But, when it comes to sports, proximity often has no bearing on the level of rivalry between teams. Sometimes, even in youth sports, competition can be taken too seriously and kindness not seriously enough.
Liverpool Middle School runner Cooper Kohanski knows better, though. And his kind deed is a picture of good sportsmanship defined!
Runner Stops To Encourage Opponent
After completing his run at a modified boys cross country meet, he heard sobbing. Cooper noticed a member of the Baldwinsville team was down at the finish line. It didn’t surprise Cooper because he's been participating for a while. Cooper knows the sport can be painful at times.
In an act of good sportsmanship defined, Cooper went to check on Andrew Hawkinson, who was kneeling at the finish line. With mud splashed on his calves, Cooper kneeled down next to Andrew.
Andrew had just finished his first-ever cross-country run. And Cooper offered him words of encouragement. Andrew said, "He said I did a good job [and] I would be okay because I was out of breath. I couldn’t really walk. I just needed to settle down. Once we got up, we had a fist bump which I thought was pretty cool.”
It surprised Andrew's mother, teacher Wendy Hawkinson, to see a member of Liverpool's team talking to her son at the end of the race. She said, “It just really fed my soul, and I was just really impressed. I wouldn’t have expected somebody from the other team to check on him.”
Cooper’s response is an example of good sportsmanship defined. And it didn’t shock Liverpool's Coach, Greg Hamilton. He's observed Cooper offer help and support to his own teammates on several occasions. And Greg teaches and prioritizes those principles within the team. With reference to his coach's direction, Cooper shared, "It’s not always win this win that. It’s don’t be mean, don’t be rude.”
Run on, Cooper!
"I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalms 27:13
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h/t & Featured Image Credit: CNY Central