I totally agree with what Next Generation is trying to do for sports in Juneau. The high cost of sports participation here in Juneau excludes many low-income kids, many of which are extremely talented athletes.
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Fundraising and fees are often more important than the participants effort on the field. The kids need a degree in sales and marketing just to keep up with the amount of money they are expected to bring in.
This year, my son was unable to participate in his football team's playoff game because he didn't sell all of the required raffle tickets. Even though he played all season and worked as hard as everyone else on the team, he got a large dose of disappointment instead.
Growing up in Los Angeles, I was able to play every sport I could imagine for free, without selling anything. Participation in sports is an enriching part of a child's life. The lessons gained by being part of a team carry on throughout a lifetime.
Every child should be able to participate, regardless of economic status or if they are good fundraisers. There were thousands of dollars available for the fluoridation battle fought this year, where are the funds for something our children actually need?
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