The OSIP Foundation, Inc.
Titusville, New Jersey
OSIP stands for Outstanding Sportsmanship Is Paramount.
Founded in late 2013 in Hopewell Valley, New Jersey, USA, The OSIP Foundation, Inc., has two key points in its mission statement:
1. To provide financial aid and assistance to those affected by acts of aggression due to poor sportsmanship and/or fanship, and
2. To raise awareness of the need for better sportsmanship in all capacities throughout sports.
Founder Jack Furlong was inspired by many incidents, most notably the attack on Brian Stow in March 2011. Furlong ultimately believes that all sporting events and competitions in life can be held without malice and with respect for all involved.
OSIP holds many different fundraisers throughout the course of their fundraising year (usually starting with March Madness and ending before the holidays) to raise funds for their causes all while providing opportunities for competitors to apply the principles of OSIP during these events. Ultimately, the group hopes that everybody who participates in one of their fundraising events comes away knowing that they participated with good sportsmanship, that they were treated with respect, and that their monetary donation was going to a charitable cause.
Furthermore, good sportsmanship reaches beyond just typical athletic events. We commonly associate good sportsmanship with both team (i.e. baseball, hockey, football, basketball, etc.) and individual athletic competition (i.e. golf, tennis, swimming, wrestling, etc.). However, good sportsmanship goes well beyond these sports; it extends to events such as poker, motor racing, customizable card games, video games, billiards, and many other forms of competition. OSIP aims to spread those messages into the more unknown corners of competition.
Good sportsmanship isn't just something reserved for the athletes or participants, either. Parents, coaches, fans, and officials fall square into the arena as well (no pun intended). In fact, the reported number of incidents involving poor sportsmanship is now tipping in favor of incidents that do NOT involve the athletes themselves. Too often, a story comes to light about how a Yankees fan and a Red Sox fan had a war consisting of cursing and spitting on one another, for example. Or perhaps a San Francisco Giants fan gets beaten up in the parking lot of Dodgers Stadium just for supporting the visiting team...
Even more sickening are the stories of parents and other volunteers acting in very immature ways, setting a horrible example for the kids present. Sure, nobody is perfect, but is it necessary to berate an innocent umpire getting paid $50 to officiate a game between 12-year-olds?
Sports are one of life's greatest escapes. During times of trouble, grief, sadness, or other similar emotions, people turn to sports to help forget their problems just for a small amount of time. Shouldn't we all take note of these situations and remember that, as serious as we may make it, isn't it just a game?
So have fun when you compete. Play your hardest. Leave it all out on the field, as they say. And enjoy and relish the opportunity, especially because those opportunities disappear as we age! But please do it all in a way that respects one another.
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