The column by Brooke de Lench, "Fight fat by letting everybody play," (Dec. 12) makes a number of very telling points. The opportunity to fight obesity and diabetes by giving more kids the chance to compete on athletic teams has immense value.
Unfortunately, in a realistic world her solutions face an uphill battle. Additional teams require the hiring of many more coaches and a significant increase in funds. It is difficult enough these days to find funding for the current level of athletic participation. Until solutions to these constraints are found, there is a positive viable solution that allows kids to participate.
Every secondary school should be required to run a full complement of intramural activities. These can change with the seasons, but do not need to be the standard athletic team sports. Table tennis, ultimate Frisbee, takraw and many other sports and activities offer students the opportunity to be competitive and at the same time enjoy the social and emotional advantages that competitive activities (and non-competitive, as well) offer.
If we can promote interscholastic athletics for the 35% of students who now compete, why can we not promote significantly less expensive intramural programs that potentially benefit all students?
Chair, Region 28
California Association for Health,
Physical Education, Recreation and Dance