Sportsmanship exemplified at Castlegar tourney

The U15 boys with their gold medals.

The U15 boys with their gold medals.

While the inaugural Eye of the Storm soccer tournament in Castlegar saw Nelson’s U15 boys win gold in the U16 age group, a visiting Calgarian wanted to shine light on some gracious sportsmanlike behavior by another Nelson team.

Dean Winters wrote: “I would very much like to recognize coaches Chris Butterfield, Chuck Bennett, and Pat Hodgson of the U16 Nelson Selects girls soccer team.”

He wrote that he had the pleasure of witnessing these coaches choose to forfeit their teams’ place in the gold medal game and instead allow a Calgary team, who had traveled eight hours by bus to attend — the reason being the Nelson Selects team, had overage players on their roster when they won the earlier matches to advance.

Winters explained this was simply necessity due to lack of numbers, to which the Castlegar tournament directors agreed in advance to help field enough teams and not an attempt to cheat.

“In the end the community coaches chose sportsmanship over medals as they allowed the Calgary team their final match while at the same time explaining to their own players the reasoning behind their decision,” Winters said.

“This was truly an example of the lessons great coaches can teach our children.”