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The St. Louis Sports Commission
ST. LOUIS SPORTS COMMISSION’S YOUNG PROFESSIONALS GROUP AWARDS $2,500 SCHOLARSHIPS
TO TWO AREA STUDENTS
GRADUATES FROM WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL AND WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY ARE RECIPIENTS OF AWARD RECOGNIZING OUTSTANDING SPORTSMANSHIP
ST. LOUIS – Aug. 3, 2010 – Megan Wood of Washington, Mo., and Jimmy Myers of Manchester, Mo., are the recipients of the St. Louis Sports Commission Associates’ 2010 Sportsmanship Scholarship. Each student is receiving a $2,500 award to apply to higher education expenses.
The Sportsmanship Scholarship is presented annually to graduating high school seniors from the
St. Louis metro area who consistently demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship in athletic competition. Created by the Sports Commission Associates – the Sports Commission’s young professionals group – the scholarship is part of the organization’s ongoing Sportsmanship Initiative and efforts to promote sportsmanship in the community. The Associates raise funds for the scholarship and select its recipients.
A 2010 graduate of Washington High School, Megan Wood is enrolled at the University of Arkansas where she plans to study pre-medicine. In high school, she was a member of the varsity cross country, basketball, soccer, and track and field teams. She earned numerous academic and athletic honors – yet her scholarship recommendations emphasized that sportsmanship is one of Megan’s greatest strengths. That quality was highlighted during a cross country event this past school year. As Megan passed a competitor in the final half-mile of a race, she told the athlete to run with her, push on and “you can do it.” The competing runner finished ahead of Megan, yet Megan celebrated her achievement, congratulating her on a terrific race. The competitor’s father witnessed the exchange and was so moved that he wrote a letter to Washington’s athletic director praising Megan.
In her scholarship essay, Megan wrote: “Being an athlete is the easy part of any sport but having good sportsmanship takes heart and a strong character. I commend those who have the audacity to encourage an opponent, because they do it out of the kindness in their heart, never for glory. In my book, sports are played not for winning – that only lasts a second; but for playing fair, having fun, and giving back, because a kind, encouraging word or deed can make all the difference in living life to its fullest.”
Jimmy Myers graduated in May from Westminster Christian Academy. He will attend Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Ga., where he anticipates studying philosophy. At Westminster, he was a four-year letterman on the varsity tennis team and served as captain during his junior and senior seasons. His coach, Nathan Talley, said that not only did Jimmy play No. 1 for the Westminster team and play amazing tennis all season, “he did so with an attitude of grace, humility and kindness.”
It’s not unusual for Jimmy to defeat an opponent soundly yet walk off the court with him, asking a question about the player’s school or sharing a laugh. This past season, Jimmy encouraged his teammates to go beyond the traditional handshake at the end of each match. He urged them to make eye contact and give a sincere compliment as well. In the heat of competition, Jimmy demonstrates great self-control and poise. Talley watched one match in which Jimmy’s opponent made several bad line calls. But Jimmy did not let it bother him. Instead, he regrouped, gave his opponent the benefit of the doubt, and kept playing with passion and focus.
In another match, Talley observed Jimmy defeating a very capable opponent with ease. On the changeover, he watched Jimmy playfully joking around with his opponent, both of them laughing, enjoying the sport and each other’s company. The coach said, “As I watched that, I actually got teary because that’s so much of what it’s about: enjoying the sport and the people you meet because of the sport. Having fun with people and never at others’ expense. Most high school kids don’t understand or demonstrate this – and I can’t imagine any of them showing it better than Jimmy Myers.”
Sports Commission Associates Chair Jason Riney said, “On behalf of the Associates and the entire
St. Louis Sports Commission, we congratulate Megan and Jimmy. They truly represent all that’s right in sports. They are gifted and successful student-athletes, yet they have clearly demonstrated that sportsmanship, character and treating others with respect are what matter most to them in competition. We’re proud to present them with the Sportsmanship Scholarship and recognize the wonderful examples they set.”
In the second year of the Sportsmanship Scholarship, the Associates received more than 50 nominations. The scholarship seeks candidates who exemplify the ideals and values of sportsmanship: honesty, integrity, selflessness, kindness, compassion and class. Athletic performance (wins and other statistics) are not a factor in the selection. Candidates were evaluated on their approach and character in competition. A subcommittee of the Sports Commission Associates formed the selection committee.
The Associates participate in a variety of activities that support the Sports Commission’s efforts to make
St. Louis a better place to live, visit, work and play through sports. The Sportsmanship Scholarship is one of the group’s primary volunteer initiatives. On Saturday, Aug. 28, the Associates will host their inaugural Trivia Night to raise funds for the scholarship. The Trivia Night will take place at Edward Jones’ headquarters in Des Peres. To register a team or obtain more information, visit www.stlsports.org/associates or call 314-345-5130. Information on the 2011 Sportsmanship Scholarship will be available next spring.
The St. Louis Sports Commission is the privately funded nonprofit organization that benefits St. Louis through sports.
Its mission is to make the St. Louis region a better place to live, visit, work and play through sports.
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