With this being minor hockey week it seems like another good oppotunity to sing the praises of amateur sports.
First of all, let’s not even let the big-time versions of athletics invade our consciousness. We’re talking about school age kids being introduced to the challenges, rewards and lessons in humility that are taught by sports.
What is being glorified is the great influence this kind of activity has on the kids’ physical fitness, something that could have lifelong implications.
Every backstroke taken, every puck stopped or basketball dribbled could translate to one fewer soda pop quaffed or smartphone app consulted.
No, sport does not eliminate sedentary behaviour, it displaces it.
Kids involved in sports are on the inside track to social fluency. They learn the value of cooperation and the pursuit of shared goals.
One young athlete, described later in these pages by Craig Lindsay, even rushed from a surgical appointment (she broke her chin on the bottom of the pool) to help her squad in a Penticton basketball tournament. Sounds like a good start on solid citizenship.
Nevermind the pitfalls and temptations that may go hand in hand with making it big in pro sports, there’ll be plenty of time to learn how to deal with that, if the time comes. For now, let’s just celebrate our young athletes.