A 10-year-old Australian boy has made the news, not for winning a footy grand final, but for showing kindness to his losing opponent*.
Logan Kemp was a key part of Wallan’s under-11 premiership* win in the Northern Football League in Victoria this week, helping his side beat Mernda by 10 points.
As his teammates ran to celebrate, Logan looked for his opponent Liam Michael, consoling* him before joining his own team.
“That was me last year, and I felt really upset,” Logan said.
“I didn’t want other people to feel that. I went to see if he was okay because he was really upset.”
The photo of half-back flanker* Logan comforting Liam was taken by his mother, Belinda.
“I can’t say I am entirely* surprised by it,” Mrs Kemp said.
“Logan, ever since he started playing football, is the kind of kid who will tackle the player and then help them up.”
Logan, a year five student at Upper Plenty Primary School, said his message to Liam was simple.
“I said ‘keep your head up because you could get another opportunity next year and you played really well’,” he said.
“I celebrated a bit with my teammates, but then I saw all of them on the ground and that kid was very upset, so I went to see if he was okay.
“He said ‘yeah, go and enjoy your win’.”
Mrs Kemp said she could not have been prouder of the maturity her son showed.
“When you’re in the heat of that excitement and he’s only 10, to see him do that, it was just like ‘wow’.
“He’s probably a bit more mature than he gets credit for being 10.”
Wallan assistant coach Spencer Mathieson said the touching* moment was a reflection* of the supportive culture* the club had created.
“Fantastic. Great sportsmanship*. All our kids are really good sports,” he said.
Wallan’s senior coach Daniel Nolan said the picture had a “strong message of sportsmanship” and was “very inspiring”.
Wallan won 19 to 9.
GREAT MOMENTS OF SPORTSMANSHIP
- People have compared Logan’s kindness to a famous scene at the end of the 2005 Ashes cricket series in which England’s Andrew Flintoff consoled Australia’s Brett Lee before celebrating England’s win.
- The most famous act of sportsmanship in Australian history was before the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. At the 1956 national athletics championships, Australia’s John Landy was the favourite for the 1500m final. On the third lap, Landy had to hurdle fellow Australian Ron Clarke as he fell. Landy went back to check on his competitor and apologise for landing with his spikes* on Clarke’s arm.
He helped Clarke to his feet, then set off again and won the race. Some say he would have broken the world record if he had not stopped to help Clarke.
- During a 2003 rugby Test match between New Zealand and Wales, Welsh number eight Colin Charvis was knocked out by a tackle from New Zealand’s Jerry Collins. New Zealand’s Tana Umaga ran to help Charvis, removed his mouthguard and rolled him into the recovery position.
- New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino of the US collided with 2000m to go during their 5000m heat at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
D’Agostino got up and tried to help Hamblin to her feet before falling over because she had injured her leg. Hamblin then helped D’Agostino to her feet and the pair ran most of the rest of the race together before embracing* on the finish line.
- At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Jesse Owens, the American world record holder in the long jump, had foot-faulted twice trying to qualify for the final. Germany’s Luz Long offered Owens advice on how to adjust his run-up to make the qualifying distance. Owens’ next jump was a success and he won the gold medal, with Long earning silver.
- opponent: on the other team; one you are competing against
- premiership: grand final of the whole season
- consoling: comforting
- half-back flanker: defence position in Aussie rules footy
- entirely: completely
- touching: makes your feel emotion
- reflection: display
- culture: customs and social behaviour of a group
- sportsmanship: fair and generous behaviour towards opponents
- spikes: running shoes with sharp spikes
- embracing: hugging
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
- Why did Logan go to talk to Liam first?
- What was Logan’s message to Liam?
- What sort of culture does Logan’s club try to achieve?
- Where were the Olympics in 1956?
- John Landy won his race, but helping Ron Clarke meant he missed out on …?
1. Write a speech
Imagine that you are presenting Logan with the Best and Fairest Award from his footy club. Write a speech that you would give at the presentation about Logan and why he deserves the award.
Time: Allow 20 minutes
Curriculum Links: Ethical Capability, Health and Physical Education
2. Extension: What do you think is more important: winning or being a good sport? Write paragraphs explaining your opinion on this question. Make your answer as convincing as possible.
Time: Allow 20 minutes
Curriculum Links: English, Ethical Capability
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many pieces of punctuation as you can find in green. Discuss how these are being used, where and how often. What level of the punctuation pyramid is the journalist using in this article?
HAVE YOUR SAY: What do you think is more important — winning or being a good sport? Have you ever been in a situation like Logan or like his opponent Liam? How did you feel?
Use full sentences, not one-word answers.