All posts in "Pittsburgh"

Use our schools. The Brits are kicking our tails.

Published a couple of months ago in Elsewhere , Pittsburgh , Schools , Support - 0 Comments

Macro and Micro views from around the globe

The sporting landscape in Pittsburgh, as well as the USA, is frail and full of missed opportunities. Communities often fumble on their offerings. A holistic design is seldom part of the mix. The problems with the media, with political leadership and self-interest, especially in the school administration sectors, are ripe.

Those in the UK, Australia, Canada and elsewhere, seem to get it while those in the United States fumble the vision of what sports can and should do for more people -- from participants, coaches, boosters, classroom-educators, fans, reporters, sponsors and politicians. 

The United Way of Western Pennsylvania is, as of the fall of 2019, making some efforts to consider sports as part of its day-to-day mission. Hooray! 

The strengths-based model has been adopted by Sport England's “use our school” initiative. It is “committed to helping people and communities across the country create sporting habits for life” within the facilities in schools. The UK schools have, by and large, only a fraction of the sporting facilities that are present in the typical schools in the United States. Meanwhile, the greater majority of schools in the UK do already use the school sports facilities for community sports. 

In Pittsburgh, the facilities are generally present, but modest in terms of being modern and functional. Few, if any, are inspirational. All of the facilities could use some upgrades of some types, especially in terms of being accessible from the sidewalks without needing to transverse throughout a maze of hallways to reach the sports venues. But the important message concerning the Pittsburgh Public Schools facilities is their closed status. The facilities are generally used for physical education classes in the school day and with school teams. However, for most afternoons, evenings, nights, weekends, holidays and summer-time hours -- these facilities are closed and locked to community programs. 

A use our schools initiative for Pittsburgh Public Schools sporting facilities would be a fantastic start for the United Way's efforts.

Pittsburgh's inventory of strengths and a strength-based model is also a welcomed as an early planning step.

The UN desires implementation partnerships for programs that lead to lifelong health and wellness, yet the UN's vice-president for Global Advocacy — World Vision, Mr. Charles Badenoch, stated, Unfortunately today there is a dearth of data on the effectiveness of partnerships. We need to learn from what works and what doesn’t work across all sector partnerships at all levels.

The Talent Plan in GBR sports

Drilling down on the personalities of the youth

This video talks about the different motivations and viewpoints from different kids. Frankly, the slogan that fits often is "Different strokes for different folks."

Runaway travel costs for big shots at PPS is a lead story

Published a couple of months ago in Education Malpractice , Pittsburgh , PPS - 0 Comments

Perspectives matter. Travel is awesome. However, this travel is not for the kids. It is travel for the leadership. It would be great to know that the students of PPS were hitting the road and zooming around town, the region, throughout the WPIAL and PIAA.
Travel and transportation are mega issues. But it is often yellow bus woes, not airline tickets for the honors band, national qualifiers nor science fair competitors.

Sue Murray Swim Pool on lower Northside.
Sheridan Swim Pool in Sheridan (just past Langley)
PCA / Greenway field and swim pool across street from Comcast.
Homewood Swim Pool and Homewood Field, not far from Faison.
West Penn Rec Center Swim Pool in Polish Hill
Ammon Swim Pool on Bedford Ave in Hill District
of course the SDA 2015 sites, especially the swim pools:
Brashear / South Hills Middle School,
Then for later August, how about:
Obama field and pool.
South Side’s Oliver Bath House and Cupples Stadium and Armstrong Park and Market House Rec Center.
Oliver HS swim pool and track.
That infrastructure with WIFI would help in countless ways. Some of these spots above are NOT generally on the highest priority lists, but we’re trying to fortify the facilities that get little use.

Citiparks Championship Swim Meet should be open to a wider audience of city kids

Published a few months ago in Pittsburgh , Support - 0 Comments

The swim team at The Pittsburgh Project should be able to enter this swim meet too. We want in! We've asked for years. 

Perhaps with the new folks at City Hall, Kathryn and Ross, this can be changed. Perhaps, with the new energy for the recruitment and training of lifeguards, this can be put onto the table as a good will deed too. 

It will be a better meet with more participation and more energy.

Weekends are necessary for sporting success

Published 10 months ago in Pittsburgh , PPS , Schools , Support , Swimming - 0 Comments

Being fit, and being an athlete, requires weekend workouts. 

Kids and families want the weekend workouts. 

Hill District Rebels practice group

Age group football teams gather on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year. This is a posting on Facebook in March calling for weekend practices -- and it is liked by more than 50 people.

Winter Tri Practices

Meanwhile, in the northern reaches of western Pennsylvania, at Slippery Rock University, the kid triathletes are working on their swimming, biking, running and transitions at a clinic on the weekends too!

Videos and images of an indoor Tri workout with work on transitions in the gym

Weekend Tri Practice at Slippery Rock University with the group from Joella.

The swim pool at Obama Academy sits empty on Saturdays and Sundays. No swimming allowed. No pool permit ever permitted by the schools principals.

Not at Pittsburgh Obama, however

Since the opening weeks of Pittsburgh Obama Academy, the principals prohibited Saturday practices for the various swimming programs. First it was Dr. Wayne Walters. Then it was Principal Colbert. Neither would sign-off on the necessary paperwork to allow for practices in the swimming pool. No pool permits were ever granted for varsity and middle school students who attended the school for any Saturdays. 

Total discrimination, for years. And, each year, the issues were raised.

Other schools have Saturday practices and even many have Saturday meets. Not at Obama. 

As a result of these roadblocks from the principals, the team often had to make other arrangements. Obama would hold practices at Arsenal Middle School. And, then the route was for the creation of the Saturday Swim School at other schools. Practices were shifted elsewhere, including Oliver High School and Allegheny Middle School

Go figure.

Frustrations hurt the students. In the 2017-18 season, the lack of permits for use of the swimming pool also was extended to AM Swim Practices, something that was done for the prior 10 years. 

Varsity squad on Saturday, January 13, 2013 at Arsenal Middle School because the Obama Principal would not grant access to the varsity swimmers at their own, home pool.

Varsity squad on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at Arsenal Middle School because the Obama Principal would not grant access to the varsity swimmers at their own, home pool.

Westinghouse wrestler knew to move out to Penn Hills

Published 10 months ago in Pittsburgh , PPS , Support - 0 Comments

Athlete who once attended Westinghouse High School moved out to Penn Hills and returned to Pittsburgh for the NCAA Division I championships in March, 2019. 

Wise of him to get out of Pittsburgh Public Schools because of sports. 

Click the button below to read the article in the P-G. 

Wrestling at OSU, formerly Westinghouse then Penn Hills

Wrestling at OSU, formerly Westinghouse then Penn Hills

Article snip

Snip from Post-Gazette

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