Monday, February 01, 2010

Why do kids play sports? In Darien, fun is first

Here's a piece that I wrote for Sunday's New York Times about Peter Barston, an enterprising young man from Darien, Connecticut. Since August, Peter, 15, has been touring local youth leagues asking the kid players: Why do you play sports?

Peter's survey is a single sheet with 11 reasons listed including: to have fun, to make friends, to earn a college scholarship, to go to a higher level of competition. The answer cited the most? To have fun. It was the top answer for kids in every grade (fourth to eighth), for boys and girls, for players in basketball and football.

One thing that I wasn't able to work into the article was the reaction of the youth players in Darien to Barston's project. Peter told me, "A lot of kids said: Thank you, it's good to be asked."

Peter says he's thinking about launching a Web site where he would post results collected so far (for football and basketball) and those still in the pipeline (softball, baseball and lacrosse). And, he hopes to inspire other kids to do similar surveys in their hometowns.

No comments: