HOWZAT: Diggers celebrate a wicket.
HOWZAT: Diggers celebrate a wicket. Claudia Williams

Acts of sportsmanship are the true winner of sport

OPINION: Regardless of the sport or level of competition, displays of sportsmanship are always the highlight of the game.

Sportsmanship was on full show when Murgon faced Kumbia in a knock-out cricket final on Saturday.

Murgon finished the regular season ahead of Kumbia and in the event the game was washed out the team would automatically advanced to the next round of finals.

Being in third place Murgon were entitled to a home final but agreed to moving the game to Kumbia to ensure the game was not cancelled on account of the turf pitch at Murgon being too wet for play.

Due to heavy rain in the last over of the reduced 20 over game the umpires recommended the teams stop play in the 19th over, but Murgon captain Shane Sippel insisted play continued, and in turn handed victory to Kumbia.

After the game it was not the runs scored that was the topic of conversation, but the spirit of the Murgon players.

It has been deemed as one of the greatest displays of sportsmanship in the South Burnett competition.

When watching sport with the family it is not uncommon to see words said between players or a fight during a rugby league game, not behaviour we want our kids to replicate.

In saying that there have been inspiring displays in many professional sports.

At the 2015 Giro d'Italia, Australian cyclist Ritchie Porte was a favourite to take out overall victory at the 3480 kilometre 21-stage race.

During stage 10, Porte had a front wheel puncture 10 kilometres from the finish line.

His friend and fellow Australian Simon Clarke instinctively swapped wheels and waited for his team car at the back of the field and Michael Matthews, another fellow Australian, helped pace Porte to the finish line, limiting his deficit to his competitors to 47 seconds.

The cycling world was inspired by this act of sportsmanship from the riders as mates and competitors from opposing teams, with Porte racing for UK-based Team Sky and Clarke and Matthews representing the Australian registered Orica-GreenEDGE team.

It was heralded by fans as not only a win for cycling but a win for sport, but the race organisers thought otherwise.

Porte received a two minute time penalty for accepting assistance from another team which ruined his chances at overall victory.

The organisers missed an opportunity to lift the profile of a sport known for its controversial past.

The riders' actions epitomise what it means to not only be Australian but to be a great sportsman for influential young fans to aspire to.

When we step out on the field as a player or watch on as spectators, let's do so with the attitude that the result of the game is second to the spirit in which the game is played.

Shortly after the game you will forget the score or who crossed the finish line first, but the attitude in which the game is played will be remembered.

With the start of the season for rugby league and soccer approaching, and the finals being contested in cricket, it is important to take not of how you approach the game and members of the opposition as younger players look up to their more experienced team mates.

Let's set an example by being gracious in defeat and celebrate the achievements of all players regardless of the colour of their jersey.