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What Do You Think About Kids' Sports Trophies?

These days children are getting awards for merely participating in sports and other activities.

Editor's Note: The Emmaus Patch editor's husband, "Coach Harry," was the coordinator of the Upper Milford Youth Association summer 2011 kickball program.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting issues.

This week’s Moms Talk topic comes from Moms Council member Beth Sharpless and relates to sports medals, trophies and similar prizes:

Here’s what Beth has to say:

Given that my daughter just received her first medal for playing kickball (with the Upper Milford Youth Association), I realize we are now embarking on a new phase in her life-that of sports, medals, trophies and the like. Watching all of the kids grab and ‘gimme’ at the medals made me ask myself questions surrounding such issues. I thought it would be nice to gain others' perspectives on the whole thing…” 

So here’s what Beth wants to know: 

What are your thoughts on participation medals, trophies and all that jazz? 

Join the conversation. Each week our Moms Council members discuss these and other issues. 

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Megan Patruno of Allentown is a mother of three – an 11-year-old boy, an 8-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. Megan also works as an admission counselor at Muhlenberg College in Allentown.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing. 

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com

Share your thoughts and stories. Tell us in the comments.

Mary Anne Looby August 26, 2011 at 12:40 AM
Good for you Beth. It only takes one voice.
Bill Lycett August 26, 2011 at 02:36 AM
As a coach for youth sports over the years and a parent of four children I think the memories and the pizza or ice cream party at the end of the season is enough. Yes the hardware is nice but do the kids really care after the end of the season, the next year? Most don't care if they won or lost 5 minutes after the game ended at a young age. I think we has parents need to set expectaions for our youth that you do not get a reward for just showing up. You need to work hard give every effort and help your team at all times. You don't do this for a award, it's part of learning to be an adult. After seeing young adults who were given awards for showing up come into the business world with expectations of the same, we need to change something.
Chris Miller August 26, 2011 at 02:16 PM
Beth You are spot on with your comment. People need to stand up and stop the nonsense. Reward the kids appropriately with awards for the best or take all of them out for ice cream or a backyard picnic. Then make sure you point our true success to the kids and that is mom and dad getting up on a daily basis, going to work and doing their job. Kids have no idea as to what will be expected of them in the very near future. They aslo do not understand the it is work that gives one worth, something that is very important. It is these things that we must teach our kids and stand for those values
Salisbury Resident August 26, 2011 at 06:51 PM
All of you who made these comments need to make an effort to go to your local youth organizations and make the case. Without doing so, the trophies and trinkets are going to be continually purchased. Merely typing your opinion and attaching your name is not enough. Reach out to the leaders of those leagues. Trinkets = money = savings.
LENNY KRISPINSKY May 16, 2013 at 02:31 PM
I have both coached and officiated soccer from 8 year old to college for over 35 years. I was pleasantly surprised to read the insightful comments regarding the awarding of "meaningless" participation trophies to their "young athletes" for just showing up to play the game. Today's parents must learn to "wake up and smell the coffee" and realize that there should be the "effort / reward" scenario regarding the awarding of any type of award!

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