In the Mount Vernon District, being civil and a good sportsman during the game earned four people the Champion of Character award this year, exemplifying qualities on the playing field that went above and beyond what's needed to keep things civil on the sidelines.
This year’s awards went to:
* Rhys Smith, female Soccer player at the Lee Mt. Vernon Sports Club
* Graham Swoope, male lacrosse player at Fort Hunt Youth Lacrosse
* Soccer Coach Kevin Jeffrey at the Lee Mt. Vernon Sports Club
* Tina Hopkins, outstanding Soccer Parent at the Gunston Soccer League
“These athletes and parents demonstrated good sportsmanship and character through sports,” said Lula Bauer, the chairwoman of the Fairfax County Athletic Council. It wasn’t like they were following a rule book either, noted Bauer. “Their most endearing quality was how they demonstrated through the year with no one looking,” she said.
Chairman Jeff McKay was on hand at the awards ceremony last month along with some county supervisors, including Mount Vernon Supervisor Dan Storck (D). Behaving well when the game is on the line and emotions are heated is something they’ll take to another level, said McKay. “It’s indicative of how we’re going to act throughout our lives,” he said.
The award was renamed after Stephen A. McLaughlin, a former Providence District Representative on the Fairfax County Athletic Council. This program was instituted by the Fairfax County Athletic Council to support the tradition of amateur athletics in cultivating teamwork, leadership, good sportsmanship and community service, the county said. It was first awarded in 2001.
Want to nominate someone from the youth sporting community?
Program details and nomination forms are available online at:
Attach a narrative of one page or less and submit to:
Champions of Character Awards
12011 Government Center Parkway
10th Floor, Athletic Services
Fairfax, VA 22035