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LAUREL WREATH FOR ILLINOIS
Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois is a good rider, an excellent bird shot, a pretty good golfer, and in high school he captained the swimming team. He is also a friend of Paul Butler, owner of the vast Oak Brook estate, 17 miles west of Chicago's Loop, on which there are 12 polo fields, two swimming pools, a couple of golf courses, tennis courts, riding trails, archery ranges and so on. Butler's son, Michael, a polo player of some note, approached the governor a year ago with a proposal that flowered this month—the Illinois Panathlon (which is to say, "all-sports competition"), the first major organized effort of any state to back sports.
So extensive was the Panathlon that it might be considered the Illinois Olympics. There were contests in soaring, yachting, quarter-horse racing, cycling, handball, swimming, baseball, harness racing, judo—you name it. Competitors of all ages adhering to all kinds of disciplines—AAU, NCAA, high school rules—were entered.
The Illinois Sports Council, formed to organize the Panathlon, stated its purpose quite simply: "To promote a sports-educational program for the total population of Illinois, thus instructing each individual in how to enjoy his leisure hours in a more wholesome program of activity within his means."
It worked. Despite cloudbursts the Panathlon was a success, so much so that plans are afoot now for a Winter Panathlon. And it cost the State of Illinois not a nickel. The money was raised privately. Other states please copy.
THE SPORTING BOOK
For years public libraries have been lending not just books but phonograph records, films, framed paintings, magazines, prints and the like. Now something new has been added by the libraries of Kentucky. They lend sports equipment. Badminton sets, baseballs and bats, volley balls and horseshoes can be checked out just like books.
Books about sport are being pushed, too, with the idea of encouraging the borrowing of books in other fields. The thought is that if a boy borrows a baseball he might want to read about Mickey Mantle—and then one day he might just want to read.
In the program's first three weeks there was but one loss—a broken bat.
NEW OLD GAME IN TOWN