By Pasadena Weekly Staff

The Rose Bowl Institute awarded its first Rose Bowl Sportsmanship Initiative (ROSI) award, at the annual Turkey Tussle, a match-up against local Pasadena cross town rival football teams, John Muir and Pasadena high schools.

The first recipient was Ahmad Jolley, from Pasadena High School, for displaying outstanding sportsmanship during the game on April 16.

Jolley was selected for the award for exemplifying what it means to be a good sport and what it means to enjoy the game with a respect for others. The award is the first in the history of the institute, which launched in August 2020 and has grown to reach thousands with its programming on a local, national and international scale.

“For 73 years, we recognize that student athletes from John Muir and Pasadena high schools have left it all on the field physically and emotionally at the annual Turkey Tussle, inside the Rose Bowl Stadium,” said Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo. “Thank you to the Rose Bowl Institute for starting a new tradition and recognizing the importance of sportsmanship.”

As the Rose Bowl Institute looks to continue its programming and expand awards recognizing key sports values, it presented the inaugural certificate of merit in sportsmanship at the local rivalry game under the lights at America’s Stadium last month.

The sportsmanship values recognized and encouraged within the award included appreciation for the game, commitment to the team, respect for others (particularly opponents and referees), playing by the rules, and personal integrity. Jolley exemplified these values from beginning to end of the game.

“This was a great opportunity for the Rose Bowl Institute to apply our sportsmanship award to an important local sporting event at the Rose Bowl Stadium,” added Charlie Firestone, president of the Rose Bowl Institute

A committee worked together prior to and during the game to review the student-athletes and to select which player would be awarded the certificate of merit. Committee members included Gordo, City Councilmember Tyron Hampton, City Councilmember Gene Masuda, Institute Advisory Board Member Dr. Jen Welter and Rose Bowl Stadium Staff Representative Brian Brantley.

“We are very proud of the Rose Bowl Institute and presenting the inaugural sportsmanship award during one of Pasadena’s greatest high school football traditions is a special pairing,” said Darryl Dunn, CEO and general manager of the Rose Bowl Stadium.

The Rose Bowl Institute’s mission is to “champion sportsmanship and leverage the power of sports to unite people everywhere.” Its three pillars — sportsmanship, leadership and citizenship — were reflected in the recipient of this award at the Turkey Tussle.