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JIMMY JEMAIL ASKS: President Eisenhower, at an extraordinary luncheon recently, expressed his concern about the lack of participation in sports by American youth. How would you remedy this?
Jimmy Jemail
August 15, 1955
AVERY BRUNDAGE President International Olympic Committee "Physical education is as important as mental education. Provide physical education leadership emphasizing participation, not spectator sports. Return to amateur principles. Take educational institutions out of entertainment. Begin by abolishing gate receipts from educational sports events."
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August 15, 1955

Jimmy Jemail Asks: President Eisenhower, At An Extraordinary Luncheon Recently, Expressed His Concern About The Lack Of Participation In Sports By American Youth. How Would You Remedy This?

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Tennis star
"By participation in junior sports events by top athletes, who should make personal appearances, organize sports clinics and stage sports events. I'm taking eight of the most promising junior tennis players around the country to play in tournaments and to coach them."

National Council Boy Scouts of America
"It's probably best for schools throughout the country to give more attention to the playgrounds and sports. It might be advisable to make a certain amount of sports activity compulsory. But children should be divided into groups within their abilities. Certainly weekend Boy Scout camping, as well as summer camps, has grown up tremendously in the last 15 years and offers a lot to youngsters."

Promotional director PGA and IGA
"Interest many more young boys in becoming caddies. Many fairly recent state laws prohibit a boy from caddying until he is 14 or 16. Many of our champions started out as caddies when they were 10 or so. There is no finer training for life than golf offers a young boy."

Chief of Naval Operations
"Adult enthusiasm would be a partial solution to the problem—not perfunctory or simulated interest, but genuine interest. Interest and enthusiasm have a contagious quality and under the proper environment they seem to radiate and rub off on other people. I say the interest must be genuine, however, for the keen, intuitive eyes of children can spot superficiality and reluctance as readily as any grown-up. So the problem may actually be one of stimulating adult interest."

Former heavyweight champion
"The fastest way to achieve the President's wishes regarding expanded physical activities and sports generally, is to energize the existing welfare organizations. I mean groups like the Police Athletic Leagues, YMCA, YMHA, Catholic Youth Organizations, Boy Scouts, etc. Through liaison with Departments of Welfare and funds from the federal and state governments, the job can be done."

U.S. Golf Assn.
"This requires the intensive publication of the astounding facts regarding our youths' physical deficiencies. Parents, educators, publishers, movies and TV must focus attention on the pleasure and benefits of sports. Wider adoption of the Little League idea would be effective."

Department Store Executive
"It seems to me that the recent meeting held at the White House by President Eisenhower, with leading sports figures, will arouse nationwide interest. But, to accomplish the results he hopes for, we will have to set up a strong organization, headed by a top personality with great ability. It should be a full-time job. He must evolve a program that interests the majority of boys and girls in improving themselves mentally and physically."

TV and radio celebrity
"I'd like to see Ike appoint a 'Secretary of Youth' and give him enough funds to develop our greatest resource, the Youth of America. The 'Secretary' should first organize qualified adults to teach and supervise sports. Pay them well. Then provide suitable areas for sports and proper transportation."

President IBC and Madison Square Garden
"I'm in favor of doing anything that will bring more of our youngsters into active sports participation. Our organization will go along with any promising program with all the facilities at our disposal. Expanding present sports facilities for boys and girls would help somewhat, but that's not the answer. We need different type people supervising sports projects. We should interest citizens with different backgrounds than those presently in control. An altogether different group, composed of top sports people is needed. I feel a lot of this should start in the home. Many kids think, wrongly I'm sure, that their teachers, the police and others in control are their enemies. We will go along with all the facilities we possess at Madison Square Garden and at our other arenas if someone will only come up with a program that will work."

Deerfield Academy
"By mass participation in athletics. The younger children are being increasingly well cared for by camps and Little Leagues. The problem is the teen-agers who are too old to be interested in camp and too young to work. We must find additional leaders to guide, inspire and control them. There are many boys—recent high school graduates or college students—who need to earn money for their education. They are full of enthusiasm, they understand youngsters. With adequate backing and direction they can do much to provide a normal, healthy physical outlet for the nation's teen-agers."

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