Participation medals for kids in sports continue to get mixed reviews from parents

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It's a debate making headlines in recent years-- should kids be given medals and trophies just for participating in sports? (KFSN)

It's a debate making headlines in recent years-- should kids be given medals and trophies just for participating in sports or should awards only be given to those who win?

A swing and a hit has parents cheering for their kids' team at Buchanan High School. The school hosts Clovis Unified's Rec Softball League where hundreds of people head out to the fields twice a week for games

"We have made so many friends. It's just made my daughter grow tremendously with being a better athlete," said Heather Oehlschlaeger, parent.

Some girls have played rec softball since they were in preschool. For others this is their first time taking up a sport. Most parents here are just happy to see their kids enjoying themselves.

While every parent loves to see their child have a successful sports season, some parents have mixed views on those participation medals at the end. Clovis Unified's Rec Leagues all hand out participation medals or trophy's at the end of the season. From soccer to baseball, pre-school to sixth grade. Every kid gets a shiny award after the last game whether they barely played or gave it their all.

A recent poll shows 57-percent of Americans think only the winning players should receive awards. Another 40-percent say all kids on a sports team should receive a trophy for their participation.

Some parents say initially giving out medals to every kid is good.

"It makes it more memorable being part of the team. Once it's hung in her room she looks back into them. In the back it says what year-- she remembers every league," said Maria Elizondo, parent.

"I think it's great. I think it's good everyone is recognized for their abilities, and it makes everyone feel like they're a part of a team," said Oehlschlaeger.

Many parents, though, say once kids reach a certain age they should only get awarded for their successes.

"Maybe you can get participation medals for the whole team, but I do believe that stand out performers should maybe get something extra to show their hard work," said Angela Dias, parent.

"I really think as they get older there's got to be, kind of like, an incentive to get out there and win and be better," said Richard Hernandez, parent.

If anything, the children love the feeling of competing and being the best.

Parents say participation medals definitely have their place. Seeing the smile on a young child as they receive one at the end of the season is enough to make most parents and organizers here happy.
Related Topics:
sportsawardchildren firstclovis unified school districtClovisFresno
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