"Playing is Winning" philosophy a hit at City of Arlington (Texas)
In 2003 the City of Arlington (Texas) Parks and Recreation Department decided to resume its youth-sports programming after more than a 20-year hiatus.
And what a return it has been.
Starting with 250 kids in that first year, the department now averages more than 5,000 participants annually.
“Based on customer-survey responses, we started offering youth sports again due to our community asking us to get back in the youth-sports business,” says Wendy Parker (above), who has been the athletic director at the city for the past dozen years. “Our purpose was simple: Have kids participate without the pressure of competitive sports, while having fun.”
Working in youth sports, I hear about plenty of bad things that happen. Trusted volunteers embezzling money from their programs and stealing from the children make me shake my head. Volunteer parents and coaches who put their own desire for winning ahead of the well-being of their players angers me. Crimes of sexual abuse against youth athletes break my heart. More...