Recreation is an investment in the future

Published 1:13 am Monday, October 12, 2009

If you don’t stand up for something, you will stand for nothing.

Therefore, I commend the people that are for the recreation complex, as well as those who are opposed to it. That is citizenship.

As you read you will see that I am for the new recreational facility in Natchez. Many people are employed and work hard every day to make the recreation facilities that we have better for everyone. I mean everyone.

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I was asked to write this by a friend because of my strong beliefs on the issue. This letter will have no effect on the people that are opposed to the recreation complex — though I wish it could — and no effect on the visionary people who see a need to put recreation on a priority basis. What is important to me are those folks who are undecided. These are the citizens of Adams County I’m writing to and counting upon.

To have a strong belief in recreation is part of my makeup. It is a positive for a community, there is no downside. Anything the public does to increase or enhance the recreational opportunities within a community is a plus. Our city, county and school board members should be complimented for having this proposal on the ballot this November, for our community.

Recreation and open space within a community define how the people of the community think.

Progressive means proceeding gradually or in stages, favoring innovation or social reform, giving people more opportunities. Recreation is one of those progressive things. You can never give too many opportunities to people. My father told me when I was a child, “Opportunity is the greatest gift I can give you son.”

He said it was up to me to take advantage of any opportunity presented. He also said it was “the greatest gift we had to offer others.”

You should see the smile that comes over a child’s face, or even an adult, when he or she hits a golf ball solid for the first time. Money wouldn’t matter to you, helping give that opportunity would. Let’s help make Natchez more about that.

The progressive, caring and visionary thinkers in our town are trying to give you the opportunity to be a part of a new age of recreation. You will hear people making it into a money issue. Recreation is worthy of our money and is a great way to use our resources.

One of the economic positives is that it will bring significant revenue to our community. Another positive is that it is good for our mental, moral and physical health, which is paramount on many minds today in this country. Athletics are positive. We need it, our children deserve it, and the community’s future quality of life depends on it.

“Sports can do so much. It’s given me confidence, self-esteem, discipline and motivation.” — Mia Hamm, Olympic gold medalist

The late Tom Landry, a former coach of the Dallas Cowboys said, “Sports are a great teacher.”

The world of sports is both a classroom and a laboratory. Through competition we learn from a young age the value of training, practice and discipline — some of the things our young and old alike need so desperately. We learn the meaning of fair play. Sports teach us how to persevere, how to deal with adversity, how to become a part of a single heartbeat that defines a team.

Sports teach us lessons in leadership, respect and courage. What better opportunity can we give our children and our community? Let’s build this sports complex.

In the words of a great man, then, “See what happens.” — Paul Byrne, lifetime Natchez native

Gregory C. Brooking is the Duncan Park Golf Course manager.