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Kids deserve experience that sports can provide

In ancient times, when I went to high school, the sporting activities were an adjunct activity available to qualified students who made the team. Normally, the gym teachers would coach their sport because they had been trained to do so, and they would receive a stipend from the school’s budget as compensation.

Now, the options for students are so different because high schools have limited discretionary funds. Many sports are considered “club” sports, which is the designation for a sport that the school has no resources to which it can commit. However, parents whose kids are interested in these activities are welcome to pay for their child’s participation. It’s totally disassociated from the school as far as official recognition, but unofficially, the schools are happy to celebrate any victories, since these teams still wear schools colors.

The coaches are volunteers from the ranks of parents whose kids want to participate, and often don’t have the training to successfully manage or build a multiyear program since their tenure may run only as long as their child’s involvement. Still, they get all the flack, pro and con, that a paid coach would get. Unlike the trained coaches who are able to incorporate these responsibilities into their daily schedule, they have all the other obligations of parenthood, and all the requisite responsibilities often causing friction between themselves, the participants and their parents, which many times leads to the total dissolution of the sport at that school.

I’d like to know how large an investment it would be to allow all Buffalo students the opportunity to participate in sports programs with cogent, trained management and coaching. Give us a number, whoever can do so. We can raise the funds. Nothing is insurmountable where our kids are concerned, and they deserve the experience sports can provide.

Dwight Gradolph

Buffalo