A sporting chance

Harper, Bednago

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Bednago Harper "A Sporting Chance" Much, much more than just sport and athletics to pass the time, after school activities like football, basketball, and baseball can go a long way in helping to instill responsibility, personal growth and many other life-shaping virtues in young people growing up in troubled areas of inner cities. When a young person knows better, that young person is more likely to do better. Let's just face it. A great many of our young people aren't being raised in homes that can be considered healthy and structured environments. We can pretend, make excuses, and play the blame game, but that fact will still remain. If one considers the many harmful alternatives that are readily available out there on those streets, one can easily understand that after school activities can be instrumental in saving precious young lives. These after school activities go far beyond merely instilling life shaping virtues of commitment and dedication in young people. They promote selflessness, teamwork, dignity, respect, integrity and pride of accomplishment. Athletics can also promote the respect not only for self but for others, not to mention insight and appreciation of differences in cultures in multi-racial settings. Young people of different cultures who gain exposure to one another on the playing field are less likely to make the stress of their neighborhoods into battlefields. Maybe, and hopefully, after school programs can also help young people realize that it's much much cooler to help score a touchdown in a football game that to participate in the mob action of a beat down. That hitting a three pointer from half court is much more rewarding than standing trial for senseless violence in criminal court. This is not to say that after school athletic programs will help to save the world. They won't, and they can't. But they can, at least, help young people of different ages and cultures interact constructively and work together towards their own independence as they are made aware of their limitless self worth. However one views it, youth oriented after school programs are much more than just mere sport. When one realistically considers the tremendous obstacles that young people face today, these programs can help make the difference between a young person graduating high school and taking that next step up to college or taking a step down on the pathway to prison. In many cases, the instructors conducting these programs are the closest thing to a role model these kids have to look up to. With gangs forever on the prowl for new recruits, it's beneficial to society as a whole to have after school programs in operation, and to keep them in operation. One young life lost to the streets is one young life too many. Harper

Author: Harper, Bednago

Author Location: Illinois

Date: July 31, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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