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Character Development

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Wakana Ueda, Sami Stoner, Doug Wells and Taylor Howell

Four blind youth athletes who refused to let their disability stand in the way of playing sports are this month's youth sports heroes.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Jane Hoover (Elizabethtown, Pa.) and John Suren (Manassas, Va.)

Coaching today may create pressures and occasional frustrations, but earning the players' lasting respect pays a coach dividends for a job well done long after their memories of other heroes grow dim.

Youth Sports Heroes: Sticks for Soldiers Lacrosse (Fairfield, CT) and Patriots Challenge Cup Hockey (Pittsburgh, PA)

This month's Youth Sports Heroes are the organizers of the annual Sticks for Soldiers Lacrosse Classic in Fairfield, Connecticut and the Patriots Challenge Cup Hockey Tournament in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which exemplify the best of civic responsibility in sports.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Brayden Beckworth (Kenora, Ontario, Canada)

Generosity is learned behavior, and teaching the importance of giving is a lesson that can begun to be taught at a young age. By supporting worthy causes, youth leaguers, guided by their parents, can have a positive impact that contributes to meaningful change, as this month's Heroes column illustrates.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: The Centralia (Ill.) High School Football Team

On a late-April Saturday morning in 2006, eleven members of the Centralia High School varsity football team were working on a community service project when they were asked to use their brawn to help safe a man's life.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Armando Galarraga (Cumana, Venezuela) and Jim Joyce (Beaverton, Oregon)

At Detroit's Comerica Park on the night of June 2, 2010, the nationally televised Detroit Tigers-Cleveland Indians game offered children - indeed, Americans of all ages - enduring lessons in compassion and personal responsibility. The teachers were a pitcher, Armando Galarraga, and an umpire, Jim Joyce, improbably thrust into the limelight after years in relative obscurity, and their dignity and grace created a "teaching opportunity" for parents, teachers and coaches who seek to shape children's values through sports.

2010 Top Five Youth Sports Heroes Reflect Adults' Positive Impact

A 2010 Reuters News/Ipsos poll caused a stir by concluding that parents in the United States are the world's worst behaved parents at children's sports contests. Sixty percent of adults who attend kids' games have seen parents verbally or physically abuse coaches or officials, a higher percentage than in any of the 21 other nations polled.  Nationally-recognized youth sports expert and longtime coach, Douglas E. Abrams, believes the poll seriously distorts the state of youth sports in America.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Reid Paswall (Somers, New York)

Varsity wrestler Reid Paswall had an idea. In November 2009, with the team's opening match only days away, he approached the Somers (NY) High School athletic director to suggest that the captains for the opener be two classmates who were not even team members. The two -- Adam Stein and Matthew Moriarty -- were special-needs students with Down syndrome. "I thought," Paswall  (in red singlet in photo) told the athletic director, "that we can have our special-needs kids go out and shake the other team's captain's hands, and . . . represent Somers."

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Ann McClamrock (North Dallas, Texas)

On October 17, 1973, John McClamrock, a 17-year old junior at Hillcrest High School in Dallas, Texas broke his neck making a tackle.  Though her son was paralyzed from the neck down, unable to lie with his head elevated off a flat bed, or even sit in a wheel chair, his mother, Ann McClamrock, rejected suggestions that the family place him in a nursing home or other institution for quadriplegia victims. Instead she brought her son home and devoted the rest of her life to his daily care in his own bedroom.  Ann's greatest wish was that she would live at least one day longer than John so that he would never be without her care. 
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