I can honestly say that when watching these stories, while dripping with sweat, I have weeped because of the sheer willpower of these kids. I have tried to shrug it off like sweat got in my eyes and I am thankful for the gym towels as I am stifling the tears. Kids are amazing in so many ways. In these stories, the kids get to meet their favorite athlete and spend some time with them in person. In most cases, these kids do more for the athletes that they idolize.
When I think of my own son and how I have tried to get him interested in baseball, I begin to swell with pride. My son doesn't have the greatest ability but his sense of sportsmanship is what sets him apart from the other players, despite his problems with a bad coach. There is no greater athlete than a humble athlete. Colin Kaepernick demonstrated that poise when Ron Jaworski claimed ''I truly believe Colin Kaepernick could be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever,' To which he responded ''I'm working," "To me, it's a great honor he said that. I'm very flattered by it. But at the same time, I haven't played a full season yet.'' That is the sort of athlete you look up to.
Kids learn from their parents how others should be treated. Seeing athletes pick up other fallen runners in track and field, or carrying another baserunner home who is injured speaks volumes about what is truly important about sport. It should be about being part of a team and having fun. Building community and relationships are the lessons that will last beyond the sport.
Two exemplary athletes are Connor and Cayden Long, the 2012 SportsKids of the Year. Their story went viral across the internet, gaining over one million views and additional national media coverage in just days. Here is a video about the brothers story. Their story choked up Lebron James who said "They are the real SportsMen of the Year"
Sports Illustrated Kids is taking nominations now for the 2013 SportsKid of the Year. SI Kids is looking for kids ages 7 to 15 who demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship through their accomplishments on the field, in their classrooms and in their communities.
+ The winner of the 2013 SportsKid of the Year award will appear on the cover of the December 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated Kids
+ In addition, the winner will receive a special SportsKid of the Year jacket and a trip to New York City to accept the award at the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year ceremony
+ To nominate your favorite kid athlete, please visit http://www.sikids.com/skoty by October 7, 2013
FTC Disclaimer: In exchange for posting this contest and information about SI's SportsKids of the Year, I received a one year free subscription for my 8 year old son.