According to the Webster Dictionary, a role model is defined as a person whose behaviour in a particular role is imitated by others. Most people have either imitated or commentated a play as if they were an athlete which may serve as motivation for playing a sport. For example, a child playing hockey might commentate “Sidney Crosby with the breakaway” as he speeds down the rink or a child imitating Lebron James’ celebration after scoring the game winning shot. When children establish their favourite sport, they begin to familiarize themselves with the star professional athletes of the sport. Regardless of the sport, athletes recognize the influence they have on children both on and off the arena/ stadiums; therefore, athletes try to display a positive image outside the playing field by contributing to the community, hosting meet and greets, and donating to underserved populations. For example, Terry Fox ran across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research. Even today, people of all ages take part in annual non-competitive runs for the same purpose in honour of Terry Fox. One does not have to be a professional athlete to be a good role model. Athletes-in-the-making often seek the advice, knowledge, and experiences of parents and coaches who were previous athletes. Athletes, whether past or present, should be considered role models as their actions influence and inspire those who look up to them.


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