Provided by the Moorestown Department of Parks and Recreation
The Department of Parks & Recreation 2013 Soccer League kicked off with more than 500 participants and their families coming together at Jeff Young Park in early September for a fabulous soccer kickoff event. Now as the leaves turn beautiful hues and the temperatures drop, these participants who have been playing their hearts out every weekend have also shown their true colors.
For the second year in a row, the Department of Parks and Recreation has partnered with Live Civilly to help participants think about how their actions impact others—from bringing more than 1,000 pounds of food to the kickoff event to showing sportsmanship and teamwork on the field. This year, more than a half-dozen participants have thus far been awarded the 2013 Civility Awards for exhibiting the important quality of sportsmanship on the field.
Live Civilly is a local, family-run, nonprofit organization that was started by three sisters and continues to be driven and fueled by youth involvement. Live Civilly has partnered with Parks and Recreation over the last three years in a variety of efforts, engaging youth and encouraging young people to be active philanthropic members of their community. As part of this relationship, the Civility Awards have taken a permanent hold on recreation sports.
Coaching assistant Tracy Gural made this comment about the awards last year, “I have to let you know that these awards are great for the little kids. They look forward to see who is going to get it and I think it makes them think about how they act each week.”
This year, as if to exemplify the importance of sportsmanship, two coaches from opposing teams nominated the same young girl, Rosie Rockell. Her coach, Jake VanDyken wrote, “Rosie volunteered to play on the opposing team as they only had four players. She played great for the other team and told me that she wanted to win the game for her friend on this other team. Even though our team won, she was humble in defeat and happy for everyone.”
Similarly, the opposing coach, Eric Mauger, sent this to Live Civilly: “I'd like to nominate Rosie Rockell of the Moorestown Rec Soccer 2nd/3rd Grade Green Team under Coach Van Dyken for a 2013 Civility Award. At this morning's soccer game between my team (the Red Team) and her team (the Green Team), my team did not have enough players to compete. We only had four players show up for the game. After conferring with Coach Van Dyken, he mentioned that Rosie was willing to put on a red shirt over her green shirt for the game and play against her own team. Rosie mentioned that she would like to help out my team because she was good friends with one of the absent Red Team players and wanted to score a goal for her. Rosie scored the only goal for the Red Team, who lost to the Green Team—her team—by a score of 5-1. Thanks to Rosie's selfless act, we were able to avoid a forfeit and all of the kids were able to play.”
During an era when youth sports have often come under fire for lack of sportsmanship and overly aggressive participants, the Moorestown Department of Parks and Recreation takes great pride in offering an environment where youth can learn the fundamentals of team sports, engage in a competitive and fun atmosphere, and learn other important life lessons—those of teamwork and sportsmanship.
"The Department of Parks and Recreation has been very fortunate to work closely with Live Civilly over the last three years,” said director Theresa Miller. “The Civility Awards has been a great addition to our youth sports programs and we receive many praises from parents that their children are learning teamwork and sportsmanship".
This year, to date, Civility Awards have been given to the following athletes: Troy Gilhool, Samantha Abele, Jessica Strobel, Eli Namey, Lilly Boren, Kendall McHugh, Jasmin Adelsberger and Aliska Calxyn, Erika Jonson and Rosie Rockell.
Don’t worry coaches—there is still time! The kindergarten and 1-6 leagues still have games left.
For more information about upcoming Recreation League sports, visit www.moorestown.nj.us and locate the Department of Parks and Recreation page for a full listing of upcoming offerings. For more information about Live Civilly visit their website, www.livecivilly.org, or find them on Facebook.