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. http://www.sportengland.org/facilities-planning/use-our-school/. 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.
This video talks about the different motivations and viewpoints from different kids. Frankly, the slogan that fits often is "Different strokes for different folks."
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