Open letter to Governor Peterson on basketball for kids
- Category: Opinion
- Published: Saturday, 29 October 2016 10:19
- Written by Frank Burkett
- Hits: 1757
Dear Governor Peterson,
We have never met but I sat beside your Father on July 2 nd on the Peace Corps 50th year in Micronesia celebration at Spanish Wall Ball Field. I spoke on Peace Corps 30 years ago as a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Nett.
I was the one who introduced Basketball on Pohnpei "Island Wide" 30 years ago and it was hard...Very hard and like then when the Government would allow only 37% of students to enter high school. Basketball was a chance to build sportsmanship-hard work to reach a goal and they learned skills that they are still using 30 years later because I meet former players in their 40s now here on Pohnpei and on FB. We had nearly 30 teams at that time, taking part in an Island Wide League then and used SDA Gym to play our games. Josh Phillips along with the Sports Council did the organizing with me holding basketball camps all over the Island and Coaching three teams along with Primo of Nett School. Some of those players are now Coaching at PICS but that league is now gone.
The grade school students I see and talk to 30 years later have nothing to do—nothing to look forward to. Oh, I hear that they do play games in Nett but you can’t play basketball outside on Pohnpei because of the rain and heat. And in Kolonia, I can’t believe that you have so many new gyms here and they are just sitting there doing nothing when you could have all the grade schools all over Pohnpei playing basketball again—something that will keep them busy—something that will make them work at something—something that will for sure keep them out of trouble and something that will help them developing skills of team work-hard work that will last a life time.
So, Sir, I’m not asking for myself but for your "Youth" on Pohnpei—the grade school kids—please take care of them and take an interest in their lives as Governor Moses did 30 years ago. Reach them before they start drinking and chewing that nut or dropping out of school and giving up on Education all together.
Thank you very much for your time. All it takes is a letter from you to the "Pohnpei Sports Council" and it’s done.
Returned Peace Corps