Although sports play an important and highly visible role in the Port Washington school system, I believe we, as a community, need to reassess the name of our athletic program. While a minority of students are chosen to participate on school teams and are given the opportunity to shine while pursuing their athletic passion, the vast majority of students have a different experience. Many enjoy sports and would love to participate in some way, but the competitive nature of the program means they try out and are rejected time after time. This discourages many from continuing to play sports, denies them opportunities to do so and contributes to the sedentary lifestyle of young people. The New York Times recently claimed that our younger generation will be the first in 100 years to die at an earlier age, due in part to its inactivity.
I have written to Dr. Gordon, superintendent of schools, Ms. Laura Mogul, president of the board of education and Ms. Rose Bonnano, director of athletics, Port Washington Schools, requesting that they reassess the way our sports program functions. As of today, April 8, 2004, I have received no response.
If others in our community believe that a school-sponsored sports program should be available to every secondary student who wishes to participate in sports, I urge them to write to the above individuals to help focus attention on this issue. Reallocating some funds from interschool teams to create an active after school intramural program, that is both educational and inclusive would contribute to a more healthy, self-confident, involved and happier group of youngsters.