Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Games: So You Want to Play the Beautiful Game?

Here in Canada we look after our hockey prodigies. In the U.S. it's American football, baseball, and basketball. In the rest of the world it's football.

And what a system to look after and encourage kids with talent. Here in North America we can't even begin to imagine how much help there is. During the World's Cup the New York Times reported on How a Soccer Star is Made.

Too bad we can't do that much for every kid and in the particular area, sporting or otherwise, where they show talent.

1 comment:

Elizabeth McClung said...

A very unusual article, ignoring both the history of soccer/football US franchises in the US and the growth of the US female soccer/football powerhouse of of that (indeed talks about people being surprised if the US did well at Championships, when the US women's team is ranked number 1 by FIFA, has won 2 world cups and 3 olympic golds. And the article is written by the author of Warrior Girls (about injuries in female soccer).

Here in Canada, do we look after our farm teams equally? Or our disability teams? Though both women and men's teams took gold in the Olympics, the funding for the broad base female hockey or disability hockey simply is not comparable, as Cardiff, where I lived in the UK had three female teams, two semi-pro, one pro, while Victoria has a Triple AAA team for boys.

Compare the six AAA women's teams with the seventeen MIDGET AAA boys teams, then on to the Junior A's and B's, the Major Juniors and the different mens' leagues up to the professional league. Despite the fact that there is virtually no encouragement, Canadian women do well in a large range of sports (including foil and epee - though Canada only pays for your flight IF you make the top 16 in an International Tournament, that is ONCE you are pro - compared to France where McDonalds' is just one of the sponsors the team). I would be more interested in how, with such little opportunity, and infrastucture, women do so well in sports, and how in the case of Soccer, were there is a modicum of infrastructure, the USA becomes number one in soccer/football.