Saturday, 11 October 2014

Bring back disorganized sports

I was stunned at this plea for cash at Canadian Tire.   Two out of three families actually send their kids to organized sports.  What's wrong with everybody?

We grew up playing disorganized sports.  Football with about three to the side.  500 with a bat and ball in the middle of the street.  Hide and seek in the bushes and garage.  Tree climbing.  Forts in trees, forts underground, igloos made of drifted snow chunks.  All this was built using unofficially borrowed shovels, axes and matches to light candles.  Hikes upriver on the frozen ice, miles from parental scrutiny, and back with frostbitten toes. We took off after breakfast with terse remarks like "I"m going fishing to Rocky" and weren't seen for hours.  I still regret the time I knocked out power to some cottages when the tree for my new log cabin hung up on a second tree and then a third tree before breaking loose in a cascade of sparks onto the power line.  This is normal.  I knew of a couple kids who played on a hockey team but never saw the inside of an arena.

There was the copper wire across the road and through the neighbours trees so Alan and I could talk in morse code when our parents thought we were asleep.  And the time the cops stopped us cycling in our pajamas on the way back from a midnight dew worm hunt.

This week I talked to a guy about twenty years older than me.  He and his buddies got into a coal mine near Lethbridge on weekends, got helmets with lamps and rode coal carts into the mine, taking hay with them to feed the ponies underground.  Other times they crossed the half mile long railway trestle, hiding inside the beams if they misjudged the next train.

This thirst for organized sports puts parents forever in control of their kids,  The kids deserve better. Bring back disorganized sport.

1 comment:

  1. I used to hop a freight train and hang on by the ladder for 4 miles to my swimming hole in the AM and return later in the day the same way.Trains went slow going through and villages in the 1950,s.And I am sure the conductors knew we were hanging on the ladders.Never heard of anyone ever getting hurt jumping on or off the freight,s.Guess we were just lucky eh! Or maybe kids are a bit smarter than adults of today think and don,t need all this nanny state protection.My goodness today's kids would have loved living in the 50,s,playing games outdoors all day with their friends and learning how to fend for themselves.Instead of sitting in front of a computer or vegetating on their iphones sending idiotic messages across the table asking for someone to pass the salt.