Kindness and Sportsmanship: All Children (people?) Should Know This Story

As parents we all want our kids to be kind people; to grow up sharing and teaching others to do the same. We know this will travel through to their kids, grand kids, etc. That’s one way of finding peace in our own lives, to know we affected people simply by setting a good example and being a positive role model. Sometimes, however, we get help from heartwarming stories of kindness that can reach our children and maybe reinforce what we are trying to teach them on a daily basis.

Let me encourage you upfront to share at least the video with your children. Whether or not they play sports is irrelevant. This is a story of kindness and sportsmanship, an act of kindness beyond what you would expect, which makes this story extraordinary.

During my “Stand Up To Bullying” assembly program I tell this story to the elementary age kids and when I do you could hear a pin drop. I usually choke up when I tell it and I’ve told it hundreds of times. I am vested personally in the story because my daughter plays college softball and I know how competitive it is. Again, it makes this story even more special.

Here’s the short version. I included a link to the complete ESPN story as well as the video at the bottom.

About 5 years ago Sara Tucholsky from Western Oregon University hit a home run in her last game as a college player. The only home run she ever hit in college, by the way. As she rounded first base she missed the bag. When she turned to go back to touch it she twisted her leg and fell to ground unable to get up. By rule she has to round the bases for the home run to count. When her teammates started to help her up they were told that it was a rules violation for any of her teammates to help her. But she couldn’t get up.

That’s when a voice came bellowing over the crowd, “Excuse me, would it be OK if we carried her around and she touched each bag?”. The voice belongs to Mallory Holtman from the opposing team, Central Washington University. The umpires discussed it and ruled that there was no rule against the other team assisting a player. So Mallory, who was her team’s leading offensive player, and shortstop Liz Wallace lifted her up and carried her around the bases, gently lowering her at each base so she could touch it, eventually crossing home.

I get a lump in my throat even as I type this. This is a case where those two young women did something so far and beyond what was expected of them, showing character, grace and sportsmanship. A true act of kindness that already has reached far beyond that softball field, as over a quarter of a million people watched the YouTube video. Wow!

Every time I think about what those two young ladies did I only hope and pray that if my kids were ever in that position, that they would do the same thing.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if that was just the way the world was?

An Inspiring Story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaXVk5GBx-s

ESPN Article
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/columns/story?columnist=hays_graham&id=3372631

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