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Change can be hard

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Change is not easy.  

I’ll be the first to admit it.  If you want to know how well I have handled it historically, just ask my parents how I responded to the news that we were moving cross country just weeks after my high school graduation.  

I can assure you it was not pretty.

With that little confession out of the way, I will now readily admit over the years I have learned that change is a necessary evil.  Without it there is no moving forward or even backward for that matter.

And while it may be fine for individuals to dig in their heals and refuse to embrace change at a personal level when it affects the masses it is another story.

No, the change I am presently lobbying for will not impact those across the country or even the state, but it may mean something to a group of kids here in our little corner of the world.

I have never considered myself to be athletic.  

A sports fan, yes, but an athlete, no way.  So when my five year-old declared she wanted to play soccer, “I thought I don’t know a thing about soccer, but what the heck.”  With a little help I even conned my husband into coaching a team.

The day of the first game rolled around and I was absolutely floored when we arrived at the field and there was no place to park.  When I say there was no place to park I mean we literally had to cruise the LaFollette Elementary School parking lot before managing to snatch a spot someone was vacating.

I don’t know what I was expecting. But it wasn’t the more than 300 kids that are involved in the Campbell County Soccer Association.

Over the next few weeks I learned that soccer is a great sport kids of all abilities and body types can excel at.  In fact, it is one of the few teams sports that doesn’t require exceptional height or weight to be competitive.

While it is great that we have organizers who are willing to volunteer countless hours to making a community league work, I cannot understand why instituting soccer as an organized sport in our county’s schools has been met with opposition.

Sadly, those who have attempted to gain support for soccer in schools have been met with resistance, apathy and comments like “How are we going to pay for it” and “No one will participate” leading the pack.  

No one will participate.

Really?  

Last time I checked there were several hundred kids convening every Saturday morning to kick a ball around.

Others have argued that soccer is not a rural community sport.  Well, if that is so then why do the rural counties surrounding us including Anderson, Claiborne, Scott and Union have soccer programs in their schools.

I know that funding for such extra curricular activities is always a concern, but the people with a passion for the sport have real and legitimate plans and funding mechanisms ready to present to anyone who will listen.

The bottom line is people are fearful of what they don’t know, and soccer is relatively new here.  

But I’m hoping soon that will change.