To The Editor: Why Aren't Kids On Playgrounds

It’s been an ‘Old Fashion Summer’ so far with hot, lazy summer days. But as drive by my local baseball fields and basketball courts, I can’t seem to wonder WHY there are no kids playing there.

When I grew up, us kids would be at these facilities all Summer and Fall, even after organized sports were over. We didn’t have ‘paid’ trainers teaching us the science of the game. We picked up teams and played our hearts out. I wasn’t the sharpest athlete out there, but I played my best and enjoyed my friendships acquired. Some of my friends were head & shoulders better than me, but they cut me no slack! They taught me about Learning How To Fail… graciously— that Life ahead was going to knock me down. ‘Get up, kid. Get back in the game, or you’ll be left behind.’

There were no “Participation Trophies” handed out. Trophies were for the ‘few’ who earned the right to possess them with pride. And rightfully so.

What did KEN learn from these moments: That Life as a kid was meant to HAVE FUN. That not every kid was going to be a professional sports star. But PLAYGROUND SPORTS was all about preparing each kid for whatever vocation they were heading into. That fellowship, teamwork, and playing fair meant something. We played basketball with fellow black kids and we saw them as ‘friend,’ not ‘different.’ The guy who gave you an ‘eye-shiner’ in the first game would be on your team the next game, and we would High-Five each other the next game.


Ken Maleski

Emlenton, PA

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