PAUL H. HELMS
Founder Helms Athletic Foundation
"The establishment of an annual fund to carry on youth activities, and the creation of a nonpolitical board, and a director, with supervisors in each state, merits consideration. This would boost American morale and loyalty, and build healthier and more wholesome-minded youngsters."
ADMIRAL RICHARD E. BYRD
" President Eisenhower's crusade to combat juvenile delinquency by means of mass participation in sports is, in my opinion, the most hopeful approach to the problem that has yet been suggested. The wholesome influence of sports participation on underprivileged youth is something that cannot be overstressed. It automatically instills in them a positive team spirit, as opposed to the antisocial group psychology of the 'gang'; in teaching them to cooperate with others in play, it makes it easier to teach them to work and live together. At the same time it inculcates in them a respect for the other side and for the rules of the game—which, basically, is the same thing as the respect for the rules of society.
To be truly effective, such a program requires three things: 1) Increased facilities on a scale adequate to provide an outlet for the energies of our teen-agers. 2) Trained leaders who should, insofar as possible, combine the qualities of sports coach, the educator and the juvenile psychologist. The program will be as effective as its leadership. 3) The full-hearted participation of parents, community leaders and the leaders in the world of sports."
"Make it easier for kids to play. They like sports. All they need is encouragement. We should have more civic-minded coaches who are interested in youngsters. Parents, too, should be encouraged to join their children in sports. I'd also give autographed pictures of all the sports champions to youngsters."
Catcher Brooklyn Dodgers
"By creating interest at an early age in playgrounds and in community centers. We need many more. In Philadelphia, developed an interest in sports at my school playground. If a boy doesn't develop an interest in sports early enough, he'll do other things for excitement and may go wrong."
New York restaurateur
"We have great athletes in this country. They should stay in athletics. All of us are hero worshipers, kids especially so. We should send our great athletes to the Little Leagues. The kids would respond enthusiastically. Why does Yale get the best swimmers? Because Yale sends its swimming stars to the kids."
Radio and TV celebrity
"Through local groups like Rotary, Masonic, Knights of Columbus, etc. Let each sponsor sports events in community leagues. These groups all raise money for worthwhile things. If they try, they can restore the competitive spirit on the grassroots level that existed in this country during less complex times."
JAMES V. BENNETT
Director U.S. Bureau of Prisons
"In my work with juvenile offenders I have found that youth has several fundamental drives: a craving for excitement and adventure, the capacity for hero worship, and the need to share experience with others in their own age group. No mass participation sports program could succeed without taking into consideration these basic drives. Our playground programs are invaluable. Police boys' clubs are doing magnificent work and should be generously supported. Beyond these, instead of allowing that profound capacity for hero worship to find its own object, much could be done to give it a more constructive direction. Great sports figures might be approached to sponsor organized groups in the sports which they represent. Fraternal organizations could undertake a wider program of sponsorship built around outstanding figures in the sports world. Sporting goods manufacturers might well spend some of their advertising money in this way. Fathers might work out some kind of rotating plan to provide sports activity for boys in the neighborhood and thus prevent the groups from degenerating into unwholesome 'gangs.' "
BILL (Hopalong Cassidy) BOYD
"By development, through subsidization by public funds, of programs like Little League baseball, football, tennis and swimming. The outstanding tennis players developed by Australia's small population proves this can be done. And if dads would spend more time teaching their boys, both would have more fun."
J. EDGAR HOOVER
Federal Bureau of Investigation
"The first need is a nationwide understanding of the necessity for clean, wholesome recreation that comes from participation in athletics. A youthful participant need not be an expert or a champion. Then there is the need to provide the facilities and a program. Participation by youth will follow."