August 01, 2008

This urgent appeal from A. J. Thomson from my hometown news source is a must read.  Future generations of youth are depending on us to act quickly and decisively…

From Philly.Com:

LET’S TALK ABOUT PRACTICE

Mon, Jul. 28, 2008

By A.J. THOMSON
‘PRACTICE! Practice! Not a game, practice!”

Six years later, Allen Iverson’s career-defining quote still pops up on Sportscenter or in daily cultural references.

And, like AI, yes, I’m talking about practice, but not as an evil to be avoided, but as an opportunity. I’m talking about practice because, for thousands of kids, the word has little significance.

Though they see sports on TV, listen to music on the radio or play games at home, they have no chance to practice with their peers. To them, practice is something suburban moms on a television show take their kids to via minivan. To them, practice is something Brian Westbrook sits out so he can be ready to dominate on Sundays.

Practice. It’s time to talk about practice and where it went.

Philadelphia once had a thriving youth-sports and cultural-organization network. Those of us who preceded the present practice-less generation remember games played at our local rec centers with hopes of taking on teams from Feltonville or West Philly. We remember practice and the time spent with our friends and teammates under the direction of volunteer coaches, usually a few our parents.

Thankfully, some parts of the city still have good organizations. We are lucky in my community of Fishtown to be one of them. Across the city, thousands of kids are currently involved in sports, arts and drama and other community-based cultural organizations thanks to the dedicated volunteers who help bring them this opportunity.

Unfortunately, a disproportionately larger number of kids don’t have the chance to participate. For them, practice is limited to rumor and a dream that one day they too can experience the thrill of being part of a team or performing in a play.

Follow the link below to read the rest of this important article…

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

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