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Letter: Athletes need turf to match their effort

Editor, The Spotlight:

Our children learn invaluable life skills through athletics. They are forced to take risks, learn from their experiences and grow as individuals. They learn to work together, and they bring us together as a community to bear witness to their hard work and achievements. For parents whose children do not play sports, but are musicians, artists, are involved in theater or countless other activities, the same principles apply. All of these activities shape their future.

When my 17-year-old daughter was 12, we coaches set a goal for her travel softball team to earn the right to play at Nationals. We made a poster of a satellite image of the fields and put their names on it. The girls had to learn to work hard and work together. They struggled at times but learned how to win, and eight months later they stepped on those fields. In subsequent years, they accomplished great things as a team, but the most important thing I saw through it all was how they confronted difficult situations, pushed through adversity and supported one another. I have no doubt these experiences helped lay a foundation upon which they will build excellent futures.

We all know life is not fair. Every day we compete for business, jobs and even parking spaces. There is no substitute for setting a goal (the same goal your opponent has set), managing in-game pressure, and learning to deal with success or failure. Our student-athletes are living these life skills at every practice and game.

Each of us will make a decision on March 12 when we vote on the Bethlehem School’s Bond Referendum. Proposition No. 2 asks us to consider field and track improvements at an estimated cost of $2.93 per $100,000 of assessed value per year. Our student-athletes work extremely hard and deserve our support. If we approve Proposition No. 2, we will provide them with facilities of equal stature to their efforts, at the same time providing our community with a unique and impressive gathering place to celebrate their achievements. By voting “Yes” on both Proposition No. 1 and Proposition No. 2, we will show our children that we support their efforts toward maximizing their potential in all areas. They, in turn, will pay it forward when they get the same opportunity to help their children. Bethlehem is a great community, and we must partner with our children to ensure it stays that way in the future.

Steve Piccolino,

Delmar

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