We are delighted to announce that Shepperton in Middlesex has been selected as Top Town for Courtesy for 2017. Earlier in the year we visited the town in secret to see if its claims of being a contender to win Top Town were justified, and they were.
On Saturday 21 October members of the National Campaign for Courtesy visited Shepperton once again this time to present them with their award at the charity’s annual general meeting.
John Stokes, Chairman of the National Campaign for Courtesy, said: “Each year we seek out a town from across the country that has demonstrated courtesy in action. This year Shepperton really impressed our judges on their visit and now follows in the footsteps of previous titleholders Ilfracombe, Shrewsbury, Epsom and Skipton.
Friendliness and a good environment go hand in hand in making up a successful community and with the pressures of everyday life now it is more important than ever that these communities thrive. lifestyles can create a lot of stress and courtesy helps us all to treat each other with respect. The Top Town award recognises towns where the community has taken the extra step to encourage courtesy in all aspects of life. Congratulations to Shepperton on a thoroughly deserved win.”
In professional sport, amateur sport, large & little games, across the land, around the world, sporting heroes emerge every weekend. This weekend. Next weekend.
This video clip reveals an unexpected hero and also reminds us to have fun in sport. Enjoy your sport. Many players forget to enjoy their sport amidst the intensity of many sports battles. So here’s a little video that may rekindle enjoyment in sport.
Note that enjoyment (having fun and smiling) is a key pillar of sportsmanship, alongside Honour, Honesty, Humility, Friendship, Fair Play, Respect. We mis-spell Hefer as an aide memoire: HHHEFFR.
The 7 Pillars of Sportsmanship include Enjoyment.
Enjoyment is at the centre of the pillars of sportsmanship. That’s why we participate in sport. How great it is to see players acknowledge that they enjoy their sport by smiling, at least occassionally! Pele always played with a smile on his face. So too Nicola Adams (Britain’s first boxer to win two Olympic gold medals in consecutive Olympics) always smiles. In fact, she has a magical smile. See her smile in the Royal Mail postage stamp below.
Nicola Adams Smiling Stamp
The smile is a great thing. Use it. Your smile is an international language that opens doors, warms places up and warms people up.
Meanwhile, enjoy this extraordinary little video clip. Many thanks to Peter D (Lord Ogmore) for alerting us to this wonderful video clip.
The Grenfell Tower fire tragedy left over 80 residents dead and hundreds without a home to live in. This disaster touched the hearts of the nation and opened up goodwill & human kindness for all to see. Many many people donated money, clothes, water, anything to help those people that had lost absolutely everything. Local club, QPR, are playing their part too.
Communities coming together
Marcus Mumford, Shahin (a Grenfell Tower survivor) and Les Ferdinand holding QPR Grenfell shirts
Many football clubs did their bit to donate large sums of money as well including Chelsea v Arsenal, Community Shield match. This week, championship side, Queens Park Rangers Football Club, which is based just down the road from Grenfell Tower, announced that it will hold a charity football match to raise money and awareness for those affected by this tragedy.
QPR has always been a real local community club
Special QPR Grenfell shirt
The match will have ex professional players such as Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand (who was brought up in the area) and David Seaman along with celebrities such as Olly Murs and Wretch 32 along with many others.
The Loft in QPR’s Loftus Road Stadium
Olly Murs (singer)
The match will be held at Loftus Road Stadium on the 2nd of September 2017 at 3 p.m. Tickets are £15 each and all money raised goes to those affected by this tragedy. please tell a friend. More information on this QPR Grenfell charity match.
The British & Irish Lions start their first match in New Zealand, this Saturday. Lions tours are extraordinary, as fierce opponents from four countries come together, train together, play together, party together, tour together – they become friends for life. The Lions is a wonderful tradition. However, their battles overseas in the Southern Hemisphere, have been tough, bloody and some say down right dangerous. Despite the extreme intensity of the battles, there are some wonderful sportsmanship moments. Here are a few from former Lions 1974 , Ireland and Ulster wing forward, Stewart McKinney.
Ostrich Bomb & Thank You Punch
Here’s what happened when the South African giant, Johan de Bruyn met McKinney in an airport after McKinney had hit him ‘very hard’ during their encounter on the pitch……
Stewart also tells the story of de Bruyn’s generosity of spirit in a way that you simply cannot imagine, when the heroic Scottish Lion, Gordon Browne was very very ill. Coming soon……. watch this space………
Recent sportsmanship moments are discussed live on BBC radio across the UK. Georgy Spanksy chats with PR Smith about some recent amazing sportsmanship moments including the London Marathon, the Maori All Blacks & Racing Club 92 ‘s incredible gestures to Munster Rugby, & of course, that incredible competitive friendship displayed during that final round of golf in this year’s Masters between Justin Rose v Sergia Garcia.
Can you remember all the results from 2016? Here’s the essential one page that covers everything you need to know for the RBS 6 Nation Rugby. Faster than an app. Plus some of the voice of rugby’s colourful rugby quotes (Bill McLaren).
When Austria’s Lisa Theresa Hauser broke Germany’s Vanessa Hinz’s ski pole (by accidentally stepping on it during the intense race), Hauser handed her surprised German opponent her ski-pole. Watch this video.
Cross-country ski poles are very light, and therefore very fragile, particularly, if they are hit from the side. At major events like the World Cup, coaches carry spare poles around the course. They often give a competitor a spare pole, but an athlete doing so, particularly in the middle of a race, i.e. in the ‘‘heat of the battle’, is most unusual. It is also honourable and admirable.
Incidentally, just breaking a pole often destroys an athlete’s chance of winning. In this particular race the athletes first ski, then shoot either standing or lying, and then ski again. If they miss, they have to ski a round that takes 20-25 seconds. This particular race is called a mass start, normal distance event in the IBU World Cup (International Biathlon Union). You can see this magical moment of sportsmanship again on German TV at 11:20
Thanks to Kjetil Kjernsmo from Norway for alerting (& sending me articles and videos).
French rugby club Racing 92 has stunned their opposition fans from the Irish province of Munster by opening their homes up and inviting the opposition fans to stay with the Racing fans’ homes. The original game, scheduled for last October, was immediately postponed upon the sudden and shocking news of the death of the Munster Head Coach, Anthony Foley. So the French fans felt that it would be expensive for the Munster fans to pay a second time for accommodation for the rescheduled Champions Cup clash this Saturday.
Anthony Foley (centre, holding the Heineken Cup)
Emotional Munster Fans
The Munster fans making the return journey will be carrying heavy hearts laden with sadness for the loss of their favourite son, Antony Foley, who had previously captained Munster as Heineken Cup winners and he also wore the green jersey magnificently for Ireland on many occasions.
Munster captain, Anthony Foley, (centre) holding Munster’s first Heineken Cup 2005/6
Racing 92 – A Very Different Rugby Club
Racing 92 are a unique rugby club that are renowned for a certain type of eccentricity which also brings fun back into the game through humour including:
playing against Bayonne wearing berets as a tribute to the attacking style of the Basque club in 1987;
playing wearing black make-up & yellow hair, in 1988 at Stade Toulousain;
playing with bald caps in 1989 against Beziers;
playing dressed up as pelote players (white shirts, black jackets and berets, again) in 1990 at Biarritz Olympique;
playing wearing long red and white striped shorts to celebrate Bastille Day in 1989;
playing wearing long white trousers, on another occassion wearing pink bow ties (1990 final) with a drink of champagne at half time;
playing wearing pink shirts to shake off the conservative traditionalism of French rugby.
Munster Fans Blown Away
Racing 92 are definitely different. Meanwhile, the travelling Munster faithful have been ‘blown away’ by the kind gesture of opening up their homes to the Munster fans. This trip was already very emotional for the many Munster fans. And now this great French club do this? “We are absolutely blown away by it. As a supporters club, we are deeply appreciative of the offer, we don’t even have the words to express our gratitude to Racing supporters,” Ian Buckley, secretary of Munster Rugby Supporters Club, told the Limerick leader.
The Brotherhood Of Rugby
The brotherhood of rugby knows no bounds. The French fans’ gesture will, forever, be remembered by Munster fans. New, lifelong friendships will emerge from the ashes of this sad, yet truly beautiful day in sport.
Thanks to Pat Foley for alerting us to this story.
Well here we are again, having sifted through hundreds of amazing sportsmanship stories, we’ve final got out Top 10 moments and ultimately, the Number 1 Moment from 2016. As always, we’ll do it in reverse order.
In 10th Place: Irish and Swedish Football Fans Dance Together – Euro 2016
Swedish and Irish fans happily sing Abba together before their big Euro 2016 match
Euro 2016 had some good football and some really great fun between the fans. Jointly singing to the famous Swedish band, Abba, Irish & Swedish fans joined together and had a lot of fun dancing in the sunshine together. Followed by a great game of football (1-1), followed by more dancing, singing and all round fun. THIS IS A CELEBRATION OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF FOOTBALL – watch the smiling faces .
In 9th Place: Indian and English Cricket Fans: Opposition Fans Swap Shirts
English cricket fan salutes india’s superiority and swaps shirts
Victorious Indian cricket fan swaps shirt with heavily beaten English fan. Just look at all the smiling faces as the Englishman is big enough to acknowledge that India are the top team this time around. Watch the smiling faces as Indians all around him applaud and smile warmly.
In 8th Place: Fijian Rugby Never Gives Up
If At First You Don’t Succeed, Keep Trying For 60 Years & Then Win Gold – Fiji Olympic Heroes. For the first time ever in the history of the Olympics, the Fijian National Anthem was played as the Rugby 7s team stood on the podium and celebrated their first Olympic gold medal. The Fijians have, in my opinion, played the most exciting 15 a side rugby for a long, long time. The ‘voice of rugby’, Bill McLaren, used to describe the Fijians as the most exciting rugby players in the world. Sadly, New Zealand poach many of their best players which dilutes their chances in the 15 a-side-game. Perhaps this historic Olympic win will help them find a sponsor and to ultimately retain their best players. Many congratulations to the brilliant Fijian rugby nation. Fiji @fiji Tourism FijiHigh Commission of Fiji, LondonFiji RugbyFiji national rugby sevens teamFiji National University (FNU)National Archives of Fiji
In 7th Place: British Olympian Loses Crown With Dignity (& Friendship)
Great Britain’s Jessica Ellis-Hill shows great humbleness in losing her Olympic title to Germany’s brilliant Nafi Thiam in #Rio2016Olympics. The young German produced 5 personal bests (out of 7 disciplines) to beat the #London2012 heptathlon champion. Look at the photos and you’ll see Ellis Hill smiling warmly and embracing the young German. What a great champion Jessica Ellis -Hill was – she knew how to win and how to lose – with dignity and warmth.
In 6th Place: Athletics: Never Give Up – Even When The Chips Are Down
Former refugee, Britain’s Mo Farah fell over mid race in the 10,000m final in #Rio2016, got up, dusted himself off and went on to win the race and a gold medal. Mo Farah’s parents were refugees from Mogadishu, Somalia and young Mo found life very difficult in Britain, getting into trouble. Tomorrow, he is being awarded a knighthood by the Queen in Buckingham Palace when the Queen will say ‘Arise Sir Mo’. He already did, bristling with bravery and buckets of courage, he never gave up, even when things went horribly wrong and went on to win gold.
In 5th Place: Wise Words From A Baseball Manager:
The Chicago Cubs waited 108 years to win the World Series (baseball). 5 million people showed up to see the victory reception! Even the dinosaurs wore the Cubs shirts.
Their wise coach, Joe Maddon gave some very wise advice to his players as the pressure built. This advice should be shared with all sports people: “Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure.”
Wise words from Chicago Cubs Manager
In 4th Place: Magnificent Maori Gesture At Start of Munster Game
A magnificent gesture from the Maori All Blacks before playing Munster when they laid an All Blacks shirt on the ground, in the rain. It had the initials AF on the shirt as a tribute to Munster and Irish Rugby legend, Anthony Foley’s, unexpected death. Listen to the Munster crowd applaud this wonderful gesture. All Blacks teams have a special place in the hearts of Munster fans – as you can see some other amazing moments between these teams.
In 3rd Place: Olympian Medal Winner Donates His Medal To Help Sick Boy
The Olympic flame burns brightly
The Olympic flame burns brighter than ever when you hear of this Olympian Polish discus thrower’s generosity of spirit. Piotr Mallachowski donates his silver medal to Olek Szymanski, a young boy who has retinoblastoma – a horrible eye cancer. The money raised from selling his Olympic silver medal enabled the yong Polish child to go to New York for treatment. More .
In 2nd Place: Tennis: Changing The Referee’s Decision To Help The Opposition
Although USA’s Jack Sock had won the critical point, he told his Australian opposition, Lleyton Hewitt, that his last serve (although judged to be OUT) was in fact IN. Sock said: “that was IN if you want to challenge it.” Hewitt couldn’t believe it (watch his startled face) & said OK “I challenge it” (which means they get to see a replay of the serve – which showed the ball was served onto the line – which is IN! This was at a crucial stage in the match. The crowd gave Sock a standing ovation. Hewitt then won the critical point.
In 1st Place: The Great Sportsmanship Programme’s 2016 Moment Of The year…. goes to…….
Brazil’s Chapecoense football club were loved by everyone as they came from the small city, of Chapeco, had been promoted form the 4th division to the top flight and were on their way to the biggest match in their history to play Atletico Nacional the final of the Copa Sudamericana in Colmbia when their plane crashed killing 71 of the 77 passengers (3 of the 6 survivors were players). Full story
The opposition club insisted the Copa Sudameicanna be given to Chapecoense football club. Around the world we share some of the pain of the families and friends of Chapecoense Football Club. Clubs, international teams from different sports bowed thier heads in a minute’s silence to show solidarity and respect for the Chapecoense football club.
We also salute Columbia’s Atletico Nacional for its kind sportsmanship gesture – insisting the cup be awarded to Chapecoense – proving that some things are far more important than winning. This is our number one moment of sportsmanship from across the world of sport in 2016.
#Copa Sudameicanna #Chapecoense #AtleticoNacional
Please do post a comment. And/or send us your sportsmanship story. Let’s inspire each other in 2017.
Celebrities and executive councillors of the National Campaign for Courtesy travelled from across the UK to present the 2016 Top Town for Courtesy Award to Skipton in North Yorkshire on Sunday 27 November.
Acting Chairman John Stokes, standing in for Chairman Peter Foot, presented the Salop Leisure ‘Top Town for Courtesy Trophy’ to the Mayor of Skipton, Councillor Martin Emmerson at the Rendezvous Hotel, Skipton.
The event, attended by Skipton residents and business owners, included presentations from the campaign as well as appearances by celebrity patron, health and fitness expert, best known as Britain’s ‘Green Goddess’, Diana Moran.
John Stokes, Acting Chairman for the National Campaign for Courtesy, said: “It gives me great pleasure on behalf of the National Campaign for Courtesy to present the Salop Leisure trophy to the people of Skipton as we name it Top Town for Courtesy in Great Britain in recognition of its commitment to promoting courtesy throughout the local community. Congratulations and thank you to everyone in Skipton.”
Rendezvous Hotel owner Malcolm Weaving, who nominated Skipton for the award, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Skipton has won Top Town 2016. Rendezvous Hotel guests often tell me what a pleasure it is to visit Skipton. They are amazed by the ‘real Yorkshire welcome’ they receive from locals.
“I am always impressed by the general level of courtesy in the town and it was really good to hear that the judges who visited experienced it too. All Skipton businesses can get a ‘Courtesy Top Town’ window sticker, which can be collected at the tourist information centre in the town hall, to show they are part of the town’s success.”
Voted Sunday Times Best Place to Live in Britain 2014, Skipton is a friendly compact market town on the doorstep of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Offering a superb range of activities, clubs, societies and entertainment it is also a short train ride away from the nearby city of Leeds.
The Rendezvous Hotel is family-run 96-room hotel, home to owners Malcolm and Karen Weaving, set on the Leeds Liverpool Canal, one mile south of Skipton, the ‘Gateway to the Dales’. It also features the largest square ballroom (according to our dance customers) in a privately-owned hotel in northern England.
Robert Zarywacz, Vice Chairman of the National Campaign for Courtesy, said: “Each year we seek out a town from across the country that has demonstrated courtesy in action. This year Skipton impressed our judges on their visit, following in the footsteps of previous titleholders Ilfracombe, Shrewsbury and Epsom.
“While a good quality physical environment is important, most people want to live in a friendly community. Modern lifestyles can create a lot of stress and courtesy helps us all to treat each other with respect. The Top Town award recognises towns where the community has taken the extra step to encourage courtesy in all aspects of life.
“Residents in any area who believe their town deserves recognition for the courtesy of their community can look out the for the launch of our search for next year’s Top Town for Courtesy early in 2017 at campaignforcourtesy.org.uk”