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Jamie Bushell, a student at Manorhaven Elementary School in Port Washington, is the winner of the Nassau County Sports Commission sportsmanship essay contest. The contest was open to all fifth grade students in Nassau County. The Port Washington Athletic Department distributed the contest information to all four elementary schools in our district. Jamie's prize-winning essay is presented here.

Jamie was also the winner of the Alex Scalchunes Memorial Sportsmanship Award given to a fourth grade student that displays good sportsmanship while participating in a variety of sports. Jamie participates in soccer for the Port Washington Soccer League, Port Wave, is a member of the Port Washington Youth Lacrosse League and plays tennis at the P.W. Tennis Academy.

Sportsmanship is not about winning or losing, it's about playing the game. A good sport always makes sure their teammates and opponents have fun. Winning is secondary.

I know from experience that if you miss a shot or make an error, you feel terrible because you have let your team down. I can remember one of my teammates coming over to me after I missed a game-winning shot and telling me, "Don't worry Jamie, next time you'll make it." Since that moment, I have thought very highly of that person. A bad sport would have been mad at me and would have made a nasty remark. This will not make it any easier for me to make the shot next time.

Most people think about being a good sport is just being a good loser, but it also has to do with being a good winner. For example, when my soccer team wins a game, we always give a cheer for the losing team. We also line up at mid-field and congratulate them for a good game.

While we were able to beat the other team today, they are all good soccer players and the next time we play them, they might beat us. To me, it doesn't really matter who wins the game. I just want to play in a great soccer game.

The moral of this essay is that you should be nice to people even when they make a mistake. They tried their very best and that's all that counts.

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