Soccer at the Ketchikan Rec
By Tony Gwynn
February 25, 2007
To me, the disturbing aspect about the recent Rec Center-Soccer
controversy is not with the Borough contemplating raising fees
- but in the arrogant attitude that the soccer backers attacked
the issue with.
First off, having a group that features several involved "soccer"
people have power and control on an issue that effects soccer
seems unjust and like a conflict of interest to me. I believe
that the Ketchikan Gateway Borough assistant manager, the Borough
Attorney and several of the school board and board members are
all soccer advocates and parents.
I'm a fan of ALL youth sports. And think the Rec Center and all
the gyms in town should be used for ALL sports. I'll keep this
letter focused on the current issue and not even bring up the
fact that soccer and basketball dominate gym usage in Ketchikan,
while baseball/softball has to struggle for any indoor practice
time. Course, the fact that every year several SE baseball players
get division one scholarships and get drafted by the Major Leagues,
while so many of our 5-foot-9 basketball players receive college
scholarship every year . . . that's a subject for a future letter.
The issue here is either the damage that is caused by people
kicking - full force - soccer balls off of the walls, glass walls,
bleachers and floors. Or, that the growing soccer league is taking
up enough rec center time that it is causing other sports to
not have the time they've enjoyed in the past.
Let's not take the elist soccer view and look at it with some
If one particular sport is
causing more damage to the rec center than others - then THAT
sport should pay more to rent the facility than other sports.
If one particular sport is requesting more time than other sports
- then supply and demand determines the fee. Using an extreme
example: if it costs X amount of dollars per hour to rent the
Rec Center, a sport could come along and say "OK, we want
EVERY single free gym time available for the next five years.
Here is a check." (haha, then you can bet the soccer elitists
would support a fee increase for the renting group!!!!)
In both cases, fees need to be adjusted to make the facility
fair to ALL sports and not just have everybody bend over backwards
to make sure soccer parents/coaches are satisfied. Shouldn't
our Borough leaders do what is best for ALL youth activities
and not just soccer?
If the people who run the Rec Center feel that fees need to increase
(for whatever reason) because of one sport's usage of the facility
. . . . then that is what should happen. End of story. Some times
you have to suck it up and take one for the team. I ask you,
what is going to happen if the sport responsible doesn't have
to cover the increasing cost???
That's right - EVERYBODY else
will have to eat it. The money has to come from somewhere. Instead
of to the responsible party, the costs will be transferred on
to ALL other groups who use the facility. So when the hourly
fees or drop-in fees increase, or the rates for ALL non-profits
are raised . . . . you'll know who to thank.
I'm sure I will receive some personal attacks in response to
my letter, and that's fine. I grew up playing basketball, baseball
and soccer. And my children currently participate in a multitude
of activities - including playing soccer.
It chaps me that the Ketchikan youth sporting world cannot work
together to do what is best for ALL sports. And from coaching,
playing, watching and talking to league presidents, board members,
coaches and parents, the "group" that seems to want
to control the player participation and gym/field usage the most
is - and it's not even close - soccer.
Come on people! Let's do what is best for the entire youth sporting
community, and not just what's best for whatever our own particular
favorite sport is!!!!!
Received February 25, 2007 - Published February 25, 2006
About: " Fan of ALL local
sports, not just one."
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on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
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