There seems to be fewer and fewer multi-sport elite athletes in local sports these days.
It was quite common back in the 1960s and ‘70s to see athletes such as Ian Campbell, Doug Squires, Tols Chapman, Bill Breen and others play a summer and winter sport throughout their careers.
Dick Power, for example, participated in soccer, ball hockey, basketball, hockey, running, softball and also a little baseball as an adult. It was not uncommon for Power to go to a soccer practice and then go on to play a ball hockey game after that.
In many cases, athletes, before their teens, play just about every game that’s available. They seem to narrow down their options at the junior age group level, whether their own choice or from outside pressure.
There are some sports organizations and coaches who frown on “their athletes” playing more than one sport, especially if it, in any way, overlaps with their season. They worry about injuries if there’s no break in between, or they are playing two sports during the same month.
Nowadays, a variety of sports offer summer training programs and camps for winter sports and winter training programs and camps for summer sports.
The general concensus among provincial sports governing bodies contacted by The Telegram is that it’s good for most kids to play several sports, but there comes a time when if you want to be a provincial all-star or a Canada Games participant, you need to concentrate on one specific sport at least for a period of time.
Look for the full feature. In Thursday's edition of The Telegram.