Partner link: LIFE BEGINS AT 60 –   WOMAN ROWS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN SOLO

Sixty year old Belfast woman, Shirley Thompson, is preparing to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Shirley will become the oldest women to row the ocean solo (and the first Irish woman). Yet she  has never swam nor rowed before she took on this project. “I hate getting my hair wet.” says Shirley who is embarking on  90 – 100 days to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Shirley Thompson preparing for her solo Atlantic  crossing

“The fear is almost part of the pleasure.”

“I’m looking forward to the good bits and also the not so good bits.” Shirley has never rowed nor swam.  Once upon a time she smoked 60 cigarettes a day. She beat that habit and has since completed the Antarctica Marathon, Verdon Trail, Yukon and of course Jungle Marathon (which she organises herself).

“Age is just a number.”

I can demonstrate that age is just a number, and a 60 year old woman is not past her sell by date – which is often how we are viewed by society. .

 

“Being at one with nature”

I love the idea of being at one with nature, so far from land and humanity, the isolation, the struggle and the privilege to experience something few people with ever do.

 

We wish Shirley Thompson good luck with this savage challenge and will watch out for any updates – please tell us if you hear any news.

 

Partner link: England Rugby Star Steals Show With Act Of Honesty

Don’t Bother Ref (With The TMO) – I Dropped It
Last weekend Saracens were away to Harlequins at the Stoop. Stadium. After about 20 minutes with the score at 3-3, there was a ruck close to the ‘Quins’ line and England rugby superstar, Billy Vunipola, having gathered the ball, instead of taking the usual route around the side of the ruck, chose to dive over the top of the bodies involved and seemed to touch down and score a try.
rugby ball
Rugby – a game for hooligans, played by gentlemen
The referee and the touch judges couldn’t see from the touchline. So, Luke Pearce, the ref, made the signal for the TMO to help with the decision.
“Don’t bother, ref, I dropped it” says Billy Vunipola
“Thank you, No. 8” says Luke Pearce and signals for the drop-out (restart without any try being scored).
A simple and brief conversation but refreshing to hear.
In the 2nd half  Vunipola did score a try and Saracens won the game 25-20. Vunipola got the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his all-round play but hopefully, his first half gesture had been noticed.
In an era where cricketers, when at bat, do not walk, and when in the field, appeal everything, where footballers dive weekly, where tennis players argue every ball whether ‘in’ or ‘out’,  it is gratifying to notice that for a brief moment on a rainy, windy day, on a rugby pitch in South West London, ‘Sportsmanship’ had returned.
Congrats Billy Vunipola.  Thanks to Des O’Brien for alerting me & Don/Robbo for paraphrasing the Royal blackheathrugby.co.uk  newsletter article ‘Cometh the Hour, cometh the Man (of the Match)’ (apparently this was forwarded from an unknown source at the Royal Blackheath Golf Club. Thank you brothers for highlighting this inspirational story.
If you like this story, why not join us and help to inspire others. Become an ambassador (just like and share and comment is all we ask).

Partner link: England Rugby Star Steals Show With Act Of Honesty

Don’t Bother Ref (With The TMO) – I Dropped It
Last weekend Saracens were away to Harlequins at the Stoop. Stadium. After about 20 minutes with the score at 3-3, there was a ruck close to the ‘Quins’ line and England rugby superstar, Billy Vunipola, having gathered the ball, instead of taking the usual route around the side of the ruck, chose to dive over the top of the bodies involved and seemed to touch down and score a try.
rugby ball
Rugby – a game for hooligans, played by gentlemen
The referee and the touch judges couldn’t see from the touchline. So, Luke Pearce, the ref, made the signal for the TMO to help with the decision.
“Don’t bother, ref, I dropped it” says Billy Vunipola
“Thank you, No. 8” says Luke Pearce and signals for the drop-out (restart without any try being scored).
A simple and brief conversation but refreshing to hear.
In the 2nd half  Vunipola did score a try and Saracens won the game 25-20. Vunipola got the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his all-round play but hopefully, his first half gesture had been noticed.
In an era where cricketers, when at bat, do not walk, and when in the field, appeal everything, where footballers dive weekly, where tennis players argue every ball whether ‘in’ or ‘out’,  it is gratifying to notice that for a brief moment on a rainy, windy day, on a rugby pitch in South West London, ‘Sportsmanship’ had returned.
Congrats Billy Vunipola.  Thanks to Des O’Brien for alerting me & Don/Robbo for paraphrasing the Royal blackheathrugby.co.uk  newsletter article ‘Cometh the Hour, cometh the Man (of the Match)’ (apparently this was forwarded from an unknown source at the Royal Blackheath Golf Club. Thank you brothers for highlighting this inspirational story.
If you like this story, why not join us and help to inspire others. Become an ambassador (just like and share and comment is all we ask).

Partner link: English and Russian Heavyweight Boxers’ Total Respect

The defeated Russian heavyweight boxer, Alexander Povetkin, sat slumped in his dressing room, when there was a knock on the door……

Thinking about what might have been, the courageous Russian fighter looked up and saw his victor and former opponent, Anthony Joshua, walk in.  Joshua bowed to the Russian with courtesy, looked him in the eye and said “Respect!”.

From the very first bell these two excellent fighters showed  huge respect for each other in a very unusual way. Although they battered each other for 7 rounds and with world titles at stake,  they subtly tapped gloves at beginning & end of each round. This is most unusual when the norm is just an initial tap at the beginning and at the very end of a fight. It was wonderful to see.

The Englishman then went on to congratulate the  Russian lad slowly, almost in pigeon English, giving time for the translator to translate and the fighter to understand the compliments that Joshua was paying to his opponent.

Before they went their separate ways, Joshua said he’d like to visit Russia and  Povetkin smiled through his bruised and battered face and invitingly welcomed him by saying “anytime”.

The smile on the Russian’s face said it all.

Magical moment.

 

If you enjoyed this you might also like

Ian Wright (Arsenal & England footballer) Fights Irish Golfer In Heathrow Hotel

Or become a Great Sportsmanship Ambassador – by sharing these stories and alerting us to any other good ones. It also looks great on your Linkedin Page, your website and/or your CV!

Thanks to big Dave Sebura (former GB Aussy Rules player and now golfer, cyclist, footballer, musician, songwriter, family man and corporate events director) for alerting me to the dressing room story.

Partner link: English and Russian Heavyweight Boxers’ Total Respect

The defeated Russian heavyweight boxer, Alexander Povetkin, sat slumped in his dressing room, when there was a knock on the door……

Thinking about what might have been, the courageous Russian fighter looked up and saw his victor and former opponent, Anthony Joshua, walk in.  Joshua bowed to the Russian with courtesy, looked him in the eye and said “Respect!”.

From the very first bell these two excellent fighters showed  huge respect for each other in a very unusual way. Although they battered each other for 7 rounds and with world titles at stake,  they subtly tapped gloves at beginning & end of each round. This is most unusual when the norm is just an initial tap at the beginning and at the very end of a fight. It was wonderful to see.

The Englishman then went on to congratulate the  Russian lad slowly, almost in pigeon English, giving time for the translator to translate and the fighter to understand the compliments that Joshua was paying to his opponent.

Before they went their separate ways, Joshua said he’d like to visit Russia and  Povetkin smiled through his bruised and battered face and invitingly welcomed him by saying “anytime”.

The smile on the Russian’s face said it all.

Magical moment.

 

If you enjoyed this you might also like

Ian Wright (Arsenal & England footballer) Fights Irish Golfer In Heathrow Hotel

Or become a Great Sportsmanship Ambassador – by sharing these stories and alerting us to any other good ones. It also looks great on your Linkedin Page, your website and/or your CV!

Thanks to big Dave Sebura (former GB Aussy Rules player and now golfer, cyclist, footballer, musician, songwriter, family man and corporate events director) for alerting me to the dressing room story.

Partner link: World Cup Fever Brings Joy Back To The Beautiful Game

2018 Russia. 32 of the world’s best footballing teams & fans are mixing it up, in a great celebration of the brotherhood of football. It is a celebration of nations,  great fun, great drama and great fun.

South Korean Fans Carried On Shoulders by Mexican Fans

Mexican Fans Carry South Korean Ambassador On Their Shoulders

Mexican fans paraded around the streets carrying the South Korean Ambassador on their shoulders (after South Korea put world champions, Germany out of the cup with a  2-0 win & allowing Mexico into the last 16.)

One of the All-Time Great Games

France v Argentina (4-3)

Argentina’s captain, Lionel Messe, one of the, if not, ‘the’, greatest player in the world today, smiles and looks at every French player in the eye, as he shakes hands with each member of the opposition, moments  before kick-off.  When Messi meets France’s Matuidi, they hug each other.  The next French player in the line  is the 19-year-old French revelation, Kylian Mbappe. Messi gives a warm smile to the new kid on the block and gives him a two handed shake/pat on the arm.  Then Messi turns and hugs France’s last player Antoine Griezmann.  Game on!  And what a game. It reminded me of the famous Brazil v France semi-final many years ago. Football at its finest.

Kante Hacked But Not Falling

42 minutes into a fantastic game of football, France’s Kante was hacked by Mascherano, but Kante refused to fall.  ITV commentator, Danny Murphy spotted it and said ‘let me tell you this: Kante has probably stopped him (Mascherano) getting a red (card) because, his honesty, which I love, by the way.” No diving nor rolling around on the ground, just a brave, brilliant & honest French hero doing his thing.

A French Star Is Born

As the great Messi Lionel bows out of the World Cup, a new Pele is born, Frances youngest ever goal scorer in a major competition. And now the humble 19-year-old  Mbeppe is giving all his World Cup earnings to charity as he doesn’t think you should be paid to play for your country.  Mbappe & Pele are the only two teenagers to score two goals in a World Cup Finals match (Pele saved his for the 1958 final against Sweden).  It wasMbeppe’s run in the first half that tore open the game.

black and white leather football

 

Argentinian Fans Sing Forever

92 mins on the clock & 4-2 down, Argentinian fans were still singing.  “These are songs of resistance from the Argentinian fans now. They’re still waiving their flags. They’ve been one of the highlights of the tour, for me, their supporters. said TV commentator, Guy Mowby. ‘They’ve been absolutely phenomenal today” said Dannny Murphy.

 

Another Sensational Game – Belgian Coach Congratulates Japan

Belgium v Japan (3-2)

Moments after one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the World Cup (Belgium came back from 2-0 down to score the winner  4 minutes into injury time),  Belgian coach,   Roberto Martínez, congratulated Japan: “They were (played) the perfect game. They were so solid. They frustrated us. They were clinical on the counter (attack).”  Both sides embraced each other after this epic match. Japan, the underdogs played wonderful attacking football and played without fear against the experienced and much fancied, Belgians.  Japan went 2-0 up ans somehow Belgium did a ‘Lazarus’ (came back from the dead! and went on to win an intriguing match.

 

The World Cup Trophy

IF YOU SEE SOME SPORTSMANSHIP IN ACTION – please post a comment at the end of this post (don’t forget to click ‘post’).  We’ll check it out and then post your comment within 24 hours – we’ll also accredit you with the comment. Go on. Join in the fun.

PR Smith, author, sitting on couch with footballs on the wall

Become a Great Sportsmanship Ambassador  – all we ask is you like & share our stories across all social media &/or send us some stories and perhaps introduce us to a school, a club or any organisation (the bigger the better)  & we’ll inspire another generation and help them to embrace real sportsmanship values.

If you like these stories, you might like some other World Cup Stories:  Rio 2014 Sportsmanship Stories

Or you might like the Argentinian, Martin Palermo’s story (he missed 3 penalties in one match for Argentina but never gave up. Next game he scored for his beloved Argentina!

Partner link: Honourable Aussy Captain Congratulates Irish Opposition & Old Friends!

When arguably, the world’s best flanker (wing-forward), David Pocock, was staying with an Irish family in Limerick while on an Australian School’s Rugby Tour, he never imagined he would, one day, play against the young boy he met in that same family.  The Murray family. Conor Murray is now the Irish and Lions scrum-half and arguably, the best scrum-half in the world.

So they faced up against each other for 80+ intense minutes in a savage battle of guts, wile and exquisite skills. Australia v Ireland – third and final test match. With the series level at 1-1, this was a decider of a test series.  Ireland eventually won a closely fought battle that went all the way to to the wire with the final score 16-20 in Ireland’s favour.

Honourable Aussy  Captain Congratulates Irish Opposition & Friends

After the game, David Pocock, posted on his instagram a photo from the heat of the battle and declaring his disappointment at losing. However, within a breath, he goes onto congratulate Ireland.

David Pocock & Bernard Foley standing beside each other
David Pocock congratulates Ireland in an instagram post.

 

Pocock then also posted a heart-warming story of his time in Ireland as a young Australian Schools tourist. He posted a photo of himself and baby-faced Conor Murray.

 

Friendship Forever Between Foes

Honourable Aussy Rugby Captain Congratulates Irish Opposition & Friends!
What a final test match Aussy v Irl! And what a player Pocock is. And a great sportsman he is too. Feel the warmth of his instagram post. Brilliant stuff. Congratulations to you too David Pocock – although Ireland won, it was a fantastic test series. Just in case you can’t read the instagram post, it is worth repeating here. Feel the warmth between these opposite players. Here’s David Pocock’s Instagram post:
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
davidpocock
In 2005 on the Australian Schoolboys tour of the UK and Ireland we were billeted out with families while in Limerick. The family I was billeted with: the Murrays.
When this photo was taken I don’t think @conormurray9 or I were thinking we’d go on to face each other in test rugby.
Great to catch up after the game. Congrats on the win and enjoy the off season!
Miss you in the squad. Quade Cooper
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
 

Honour, Dignity & Real Friendship

This is what the game is all about.  And David Pocock nailed it off the pitch (as he consistently does on the pitch too!)
Congratulations to David Pocock and Australia for the wonderful test series. And thanks for being a real ambassador of rugby and sportsmanship. You inspire a new generation
Meanwhile, the Irish rugby dream floats onwards……

Partner link: Young American Athlete Alerts Officials to Scoring Error and Misses The Cut

Meet Davis Robey, a 17 year old student, who throws the shot put for  Mason High School and dreams of one day qualifying for the Regionals. The shot put is one of the Ancient Olympic Games early events dating back to 684 BC when the goals of the Olympic Games were as much about developing athletes’s minds and bodies.  These principles remain today. Honour, honesty and friendship are key principles amongst true athletes today.

Graphic of the Ancient Olympic Athletes
The Ancient Olympics 684 BC principles remain alive and well today

On May 16th Davis Robey competed in the Division 1 Finals hoping to get within the top 4 and qualify for the Regionals.  An official scorer announced Robey in fourth place with a throw of 137 feet.  Robey knew he had only thrown 132 feet and that it was a mistake.  So Davis Robey stepped up and alerted the judges to the error. In doing so he forfeited his opportunity of competing in the Regionals, as he now finished 7th.

Robey is a true athlete who has ‘the milk of human kindness’ and buckets of integrity. He spoke quietly afterwards:  “It’s unfair for someone who did throw farther than me to not move on, because they worked just as hard as I did. ”

Watch The Interview

Watch the video interview of this inspirational young man.

 

 

Partner link: 6 Nations Rugby – Friendship, Honour, Respect & A Lot of Fun

The 2018 6 Nations Rugby was an exciting contest full of sportsmanship moments. Here’s a few. Do tell us your sportsmanship moments if you spotted any…….

Fans Have Fun

I am in Dublin for the Ireland v Wales 6 Nations match. It’s a big game. Two exciting teams. Both with a point to prove. As I walk down to Lansdowne Road’s Aviva Stadium, I see lots of Welsh Fans proudly wearing their red shirts and waving their wonderful Welsh Dragon flags (see Welsh fans are wonderful). I also see lots of Irish leprechauns, Green jumpsuits, tricolour flags and then I see this………..French fans walking along Lansdowne Road (see the translucent glass on the Aviva Stadium on the left).

French fans appear in Dublin as Ireland are about to play Wales!
French fans appear in Dublin as Ireland are about to play Wales!

Intense Battles

So many games in this year’s 6 Nations were so close. The very last game, between Italy and Scotland ended with Scotland winning by 2 points after being behind for most of the game. Ireland’s 83rd minute  drop goal against France saved Ireland from defeat in Paris. The Ireland v Wales game was a thrilling encounter between two very good teams.   It was an enthralling battle. Right up to the last few minutes, Wales could have won it. Even the French commentator and former French captain, Serge Betsen, said the best game was Ireland v Wales.

Ireland v Wales was an extraordinarily exciting  game of rugby
Ireland v Wales was an extraordinarily exciting game of rugby

Handshakes 

The post-match handshake is mandatory in rugby. It’s a simple, yet, great thing.  Watch Irish and Welsh players line up to shake hands and occasionally embrace each other as soon as the final whistle has been blown.

Ireland v Wales – post-match handshake. The magical post-match handshake and the odd hug between players who, moments earlier were sworn opponents. Honour & Friendship prevail.

 

Excitement, Expectation and Magnificence

This is what it feels like when entering Lansdowne Road’s Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, minutes before  Ireland v Scotland game kicks off. Some say it’s like a ‘stairway to heaven’.  And two smiling stewards welcome us all  into a wonderful, almost mystical event.

 

Opposition Fans  Celebrate The Match Together 

The great thing about rugby is the camaraderie that exists between opposing fans.  Here some Irish and Scottish fans having a chat and some fun after the game

Irish and Scottish Fans celebrate together
Irish and Scottish Fans celebrate together

 

Entering Twickenham Stadium

Having beaten France, Italy, Wales & Scotland, Ireland marched on Twickenham to try and win the Triple Crown and Grand Slam (having already secured the 6 Nations Championship). Fantastic game.

 

 

Magical Moment from England’s Fullback

On the  77th minute England’s Mike Brown was about score a try for England to open the game up with 3 mins left on the clock, when he was brilliantly tackled by  Ireland’s Sean Cronin pushing him into touch. The referee called for video help. Mike Brown sat on the ground  – knowing he’d been tackled into touch. He knew it. The crowd didn’t but Brown did. As Cronin got up, Brown, still sitting on the  grass, gave him a friendly tap on the backside, congratulating Cronin on the exquisite tackle, which some say, finally secured Ireland’s Grand Slam.

 

 

Ireland defend the try line
Ireland defend the try line

England and Ireland shaking hands
England and Ireland shaking hands

 

Players, Substitutes and Backroom People are All Part of the Team

After receiving the Nat West 6 Nations Championship Trophy on the podium,  the Irish captain, Rory Best, stood on the podium with his arm around  Sean Cronin (who competes with  RoryBest for the same hooker position every game for several years now). Even between internal competitors, there was a great feeling of unity and warmth of friendship amongst the whole squad. Rory Best also acknowledge d during his speech, that it was the squad i.e. the players, the subs and also the backroom team that helped Ireland to win the Triple Crown, 6 Nations Championship and the Grand Slam 2018.

Everyone works together in a team or squad

Everyone works together in a team or squad 

English Coach Congratulates Irish Team

Even the England manager, Eddie Jones, who had previously made some prematch unsporting comments, redeemed himself by openly apologising and subsequently, immediately after the match, he  congratulated Ireland graciously when he said ‘Ireland were very worthy Grand Slam Winners’. This meant a lot to all the Irish fans.

Firework celebrations as Ireland receive the 2018 Nat West 6 Nations trophy

 

 

A Pure Act Of Kindness, Generosity & Friendship

So, Ireland won the Grand Slam beating England 24 – 15 at Twickenham. It was a special night for all those associated with Ireland because it was St Patrick’s day too. There would have been many memorable pictures taken from the weekend but none more special than this one. Peter O’Mahony gave his 6 nations medal to young fan Jennifer Malone.  Jennifer is a big fan and attends matches and training sessions whenever she can.  What a reward for her loyalty!

Peter O'Mahoney gives  Jennifer his 6 Nations Winner's medal
Peter O’Mahoney gives Jennifer Malone his 6 Nations Winner’s medal

 

English Fans Congratulate Irish Fans

All the English players and fans were outstanding in their warm congratulations that went on all night long, in arguably our finest St Patrick’s Day.

England fans celebrate Irealnd's victory with Irish fans all over London

England fans celebrate Irealnd’s victory with Irish fans all over London 

 

 

Partner link: NatWest 6 Nations 2018 Fixtures & 2017 Results & Bill McLaren Classic Quotes

 

Yes folks, it’s here again the wonderful 6 Nations Rugby feast. Here are your essentials: dates, KO times, location + can you remember who beat whom in every game last year – test yourself and your friends – then enjoy some rugby Commentator Karioki & speak, with passion, the wonderful Bill McLaren colourful quotes – to rekindle the magic he created. We have 60 of Bill’s Best quotes here .

6 Nations 2018 Fixtures & 2017 Results & Bill McLaren

6 Nations 2018 Fixtures & 2017 Results & Bill McLaren Classic Quotes

 

Here’s the pdf version of the above document 6 Nations 2018 Fixtures and 2017 Results and Bill McLaren with live links if you prefer this.

 

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Free  posters, video links, workbooks and slides for schools – contact Paul@GreatSportsmanship.org

If you like this, you might also enjoy

60 of the Best Rugby Quotes from Bill McLaren – the Voice of Rugby 

Rugby World Cup 2015 – A Photographic Celebration Of Sportsmanship

Rugby World Cup 2015 – A Photographic Celebration Of Sportsmanship