Kevin Trainor named 2008 Good Sport of the Year by Little League International
The Little League Good Sport Award annually recognizes a Little League player who has demonstrated superior qualities of sportsmanship, leadership, a commitment to teamwork and a desire to excel. Kevin Trainor of Viera Suntree Little League in Melbourne, Fla., has exemplified all of those qualities, and this August at the 2008 Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa., he will be recognized with the Little League Good Sport of the Year Award.
“Being a good sport has little to do with talent or ability and everything to do with character and attitude,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “Kevin is one Little League player who has demonstrated the ability to transform a potentially debilitating birth defect (Esophageal Artesia), into a willingness to lead by example and be a supportive teammate. These attributes nurtured through Little League often translate into success later in life, making Kevin a worthy recipient of this award.”
Kevin, 13, is the son of Kevin and Dorothy Trainor, and is a recent graduate of Manatee Elementary School in Viera, Fla. He will be attending Kennedy Middle School in Rockledge, Fla., this fall. A Little League participant since he was a league-age five-year-old, Kevin played much of this season at shortstop, second base and showed his greatest improvement as a pitcher.
“As coaches, teammates, umpires, and all that have come across him on the baseball diamond can attest, Kevin exudes all the qualities that constitute sportsmanship, respect and human decency,” Mike Neal, manager of the Viera Suntree Little League Diamondbacks and Kevin’s coach, said “There are times when he has had great success, and there are times when opposing hitters have had success against Kevin, but he handles both situations with the same unwavering respect for the game and with great sportsmanship.”
Kevin was born premature and without an esophagus. To date, he has undergone several medical procedures and surgeries to correct the birth defect.
“Playing Little League gives Kevin a sense of pride,” Kevin’s father, Kevin Trainor, Sr., said. “It has taught him about the importance of teamwork, having fun and enjoying the challenge of competition. His drive and determination are apparent to his teammates and coaches. The fact that Kevin has been named the 2008 Good Sport Award winner is a tribute not only to him, but also to the Viera Suntree Little League, along with league vice president Dave Zavetz and coach Mike Neal. Both have spent tireless hours instilling sportsmanship principles in every player under their tutelage.”
“I feel Kevin is a little more thankful than most because of the hurdles he’s had to clear in his brief life,” Mr. Trainor said. “When he found out we’d be going to Williamsport, he was shocked and tremendously excited. He’s looking forward to seeing the best players at his age in the world.”
The Little League Good Sport Award Program was established in 1989 to amplify the importance of Little League as a leadership training program, utilizing baseball and softball as a vehicle for instilling in children valuable principles, while never figuring in the youngster’s playing ability or personal statistics.