Multi-sport athletes less common in N.L.

John Browne
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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.

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Recent comments

  • Denise
    November 07, 2013 - 17:32

    I have read this article only to see that according to Mr Browne, females don't exist in the sports here in the province. Really Mr. Browne are you actually that backward Could you have covered females in the article?? It only goes to show your interest in sports in the province. Only one sided ---- so sad and to think the Telegram let it get published. Not great for the readership

  • david
    November 07, 2013 - 09:11

    And this despite the millions and millions spent on providing better facilities and venues for playing sports than Newfoundlanders ever even dreamed of. Sports fields and fire trucks is all we have to show for risking our offshore to the perils of oil production.... yay!