Kathryn Krebs, a student-athlete at Lakeland’s George Jenkins High, was the runner-up in a national essay contest coordinated by the USA Today newspaper and the Rhode Island-based Institute for International Sport.
For the past 19 years, USA Today and the Institute have sponsored the contest in support of National Sportsmanship Day held last month. Students from elementary, middle and high schools and colleges and universities are invited to write essays of 500 words or less and address a sportsmanship theme. Essays can be written about any aspect of sports ethics and sportsmanship and writers can share their personal reflections of exemplary or poor sportsmanship. Kathryn’s essay was chosen runner-up from approximately 300 national submissions in the high school category.
Kathryn is a George Jenkins High senior and member of the Eagles varsity volleyball and track and field teams. The announcement of Kathryn’s award is available at http://www.internationalsport.com/nsd/essay_comp.cfm and the full text of her essay is posted on the Florida High School Athletic Association Web site, http://www.fhsaa.org/news/2011/0330.
Her essay describes how she established a George Jenkins High club that promotes sportsmanship, leadership and character among the school’s athletes and how she hopes to expand the club to a national level.
She also wrote about George Jenkins’ mandatory sportsmanship initiative that requires attendance by all athletes and coaches. Failure to participate in the initiative means an athlete is ineligible to compete.
An excerpt from Kathyrn’s award-winning essay:
“It is essential to remember that participation in high school sports is a privilege, and not a right. Students who wish to participate in athletic programs should be informed that player behavior and sportsmanship will be enforced. Even the smallest act of unsportsmanlike conduct or violence at a practice or a game should be immediately addressed and resolved. Ultimately, all administrators, officials, and coaches should be responsible for fairly and consistently following and enforcing athletic rules and policies.”