We are excited to announce the adult and youth winners of the Awesome Sports Writing Contest of 2018 . Our winners have so many different stories, different sports, different experiences to share, and we can’t wait to publish them. Congratulations, winners! Look out for their essays on the Awesome Sports Project in the coming weeks.


Adult Category

WINNER ($300):

The Evolution of the Feminine Athlete
– By Jessie Hernandez

“An outstanding essay is thought-provoking and that is exactly the effect this piece had on me. A superbly researched and thought-out essay with a passionate thread running through from the writer. An issue of such relevance in society right now and for many generations to come I would suspect. Forthright and very well-written. I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe this writer has even more to say!” – Rebecca Lowe

RUNNER – UP ($50):

My Love Letter to Soccer
– By Rita Ellis

“What I love most about this essay is it’s unabashed enthusiasm for the topic discussed, and the early fearlessness depicted when the writer was a young athlete at a time when her athletic participation was questioned by the boys and men around her. Any piece of writing that celebrates a girl chased the life she envisions for herself is a winner in my book.” – Dennis Norris


My Passion for Dancing
– By Marie Malone

“An inspiring story that spans fifty years, the narrator captures how her dedication to dance is more than a sport, it is an empowering and lifelong passion.” – Leisl Veach

Youth Category (20 & Under)

WINNER ($150):

Friend or Foe
– By Pastel Schway

“An original story, told using both top-notch writing but also excellent use of story-telling techniques. It had an arc and a message which is relevant not only in today’s world but will always be relevant. I so enjoyed reading this essay and am so glad the story has now been told. Congrats!!” – Rebecca Lowe

 RUNNER – UP ($50):

How to Play Rugby
By Helena Korubo

“The voice! The incredible voice and raw honesty celebrating all aspects of this experience are the things that make this essay such an essential read. This is a young writer with a clear sense of who she is the purpose behind her writing. This piece is laugh out loud funny, and wise beyond it’s years, and it was a pleasure to read.” – Dennis Norris


Go Figure (Skate)
By Signe Sawyer

“What I loved most about this essay is the understanding by the writer of all that the sport of figure skating has taught her. I hadn’t realised the wide-ranging aspects within its potential and I will be watching to see (and hopefully covering on TV!) synchronised ice skating at Beijing 2022! If there’s one thing I’ve learned from hosting at 3 Olympics for NBC, it’s never give up on your dream. It happens.” – Rebecca Lowe

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest, and start writing again for next year. In addition, we wanted to thank our 2018 Judges for their tireless work on the submissions: Sonya Elliott, Leisl Veach, Dennis Norris, and NBC Anchor Rebecca Lowe.

This contest was made possible by the generous donation of our readers and supporters through our GoFundMe campaign. Please consider donating for our 2019 contest!

-Awesome Sports Project Editorial Team