Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sports & Youth

In my younger days from the 60s to early 80s, I really loved sports. I played dodge ball, roller skates, some softball, chess, basketball, table tennis, lawn tennis, billiards, pool, some soccer, volleyball, badminton, pelota, duck-pin and Ten-Pin Bowling. The only sports facilities that we had to pay for were billiards, pool, duck-pin and ten-pin bowling. But they were relatively cheap because we were the youth then and could afford it. In our city, there was little concern about crime because the youth had practically many sports to engage in for free. It was only those not interested in sports that went into drugs and frat or gang like activities.

All around our city there were a lot of basketball courts from gyms to open-air standard full courts down to street half-courts. There were sub-standard sized courts to even smaller ones that players use smaller balls like tennis balls. We sometimes play for long hours until our strength is drained without worrying for the cost of using of the facility. The same free use could be said of volleyball, table and lawn tennis.

Probably since the mid-1980s until now, all of those free facilities are already pay-for-use facilities. The hourly rate is quite high that only well-off people could afford to use them frequently for two hours or more. It is sad to see many youth these days who want to be in sports but could not afford it anymore. This is one of the many reasons why the youth now have turned to cheaper computer games, use of drugs and gang activities. It is really a sad combination of seeing the past in your mind while seeing the present with your eyes.

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