Friday, July 16, 2010

‘Participation’ Trophies for Life

Kids (and Alter boys) today are exposed to a lot more opportunities for formalized sports programs and competition than when I was young. Oh sure I had the after school recreation room where caroms were king and I learned to play REAL ping pong better. But other than an occasional informal throw-down between friends, we didn’t have coaches or parents routinely guiding and judging our daily improvement in our activities, or in my case, a lack thereof.

These days it seems from the earliest ages, parents wrap their kids up in all kinds of pee wee leagues and formalized sports programs. I am not sure that all that early competition is designed more for the kids or actually their parents? All I know is that each year as my daughter grew and progressed through the various sports leagues, she seemed to get more trophies every year - whether her teams won or not?

Now I walk through thrift stores and there are literally racks and racks of these little ‘participant’ trophies for purchase. I know where these come from, because my daughter has a whole bookcase filled with them. The really funny thing for me is, these ‘golden oldies’ are like photos, in that even if you don’t like them they are still hard to throw away. You know logically, the kid is NEVER going to haul this hardware to her own place, but HEAVEN FORBID if you melted them down into a golden butter dishes with marble bases.

I have tried archery once; maybe I should buy myself a little participatory trophy, topped with with a proud Indian holding a bow? In fact I’ve done hundreds (ok … well maybe dozens) of things in my life but for some reason I never received all my awards? Do you think my parents have been holding out on me or maybe they’ve just lost my address? I always wondered why they have so many butter dishes?

You can imagine after all these years, I actually have mastered breathing pretty well now, so for that one I think I deserve a trophy AND a ribbon. As for eating, I’ve exceeded everyone’s expectations and have become a well-rounded pro in both butterhorns and buffets. Whew - finally something that I am so good at that I’m too big to overlook - I can’t wait to receive my ‘just desserts’!


  1. You're a hoot. I agree with the organized sports. I remember playing softball every day on the lawn across from my house in Toronto. (Before the houses were torn down and townhouses put up!)

    Thank you for visiting My world !

    When I taught in Ottawa, the kids spent hours playing basketball, as they couldn't afford org. sports. Much more fun! They'd police themselves.

  2. Here comes my RANT.....ha's been a long time coming. No, my freezer loss has absolutely nothing to do with my foul mood...nada!

    WTH is with trophies for everything these days? Why are kids not taught about losing gracefully anymore? Nope...everyone has to be a winner.

    We're raising a bunch of self-entitled spoiled brats. Oh, and look what happens when we do that....they end up running the country!

    Off my high horse sulk about my lost ice cream.