ARE THE SCHOOLS RELUCTANT?
This is to thank you and SI for the splendid broadside on American physical fitness in your First Anniversary issue. From your EVENTS & DISCOVERIES editorial—at once judicious and provocative—through Robert H. Boyle's Report—an accolade for this admirably simple and informative presentation of a complex subject—to the 40-odd statements assembled by Jimmy Jemail: this was a tour de force that should evoke active response in every state—even in every school—in the land.
My own efforts to make America a stronger nation began in 1920. All our national strength, courage, perseverance and even patriotism depend in the final analysis on strength in muscles. For many, many years I have urged the schools of this country to develop these qualities in our youth through physical fitness programs. I have always believed that strength, physical fitness, success in athletics and even pleasure in sport are one and the same thing.
If this sounds trite and obvious let me say that this thesis has been ridiculed, even in official educational circles, for just as many years.
May your follow-up articles not be long delayed! A program for better physical fitness is of prime import to this nation's progress.
FREDERICK RAND ROGERS
New York Harbor, N.Y.
?Dr. Rogers, a pioneer in physical-fitness testing, is the originator of the much-used Rogers Physical Fitness Index.—ED.
WE HAVE OUR PROBLEMS
The school physical education instructor has his own problems:
Just let any physical education man force a boy to do anything and the parents of some scream "I'll sue!" This attitude has chilled the enthusiasm of many teachers.
Admiral Byrd states: "A program requires...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."
Admiral, this combination of Knute Rockne, John Dewey and Arnold Gesell is hard to find.
IT LOOKS DIFFERENT FROM THE INSIDE
Everybody agrees that something should be done, but very few people understand how little money is available to those dedicated to running youth sports programs. If money were available and facilities placed at our disposal, all youth in any community would have an opportunity to participate in sports of some form or other. It is a tough situation when an individual such as myself, with a few assistants, has to set up, promote and just about finance various programs. The lack of cooperation by local, state and national agencies discourages the continuation of these programs.