Ethics forum to tackle youth sports
Fred Engh, founder of the West Palm Beach-based nonprofit National Alliance for Youth Sports, will be the featured speaker at a forum at Palm Beach State College Sept. 21 on ethics in youth sports.
Titled “Ethics and Youth Sports: Changing the Game for Good,” the forum is hosted by the PBSC Center for Applied Ethics to spark dialogue about the challenges often faced by the more than 30 million children that play in organized leagues across America and their parents, coaches and volunteers. It will be held in the Public Safety Training Center Conference Room (PSD 108) on the Lake Worth campus, 4200 Congress Ave. Check in begins at 5:30 p.m., and the forum starts at 6 p.m. There will be a 30-minute Q&A immediately following at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.
Engh created the National Sports Coaches Association in 1981 because of his growing concern about the emotional and physical damage volunteer coaches knowingly or unknowingly were causing to children on their teams. That organization evolved into the National Alliance for Youth Sports in 1993. Also founder of the International Alliance for Youth Sports, he has devoted his life to helping children develop through sports for more than 40 years as a coach, athletic director, sports educator and is considered one of the world’s leading experts in the youth sports field. His programs for coaches, administrators, parents and officials to give children a healthy start in sports are used in more than 3,000 communities, in more than a dozen countries and on several continents.
A married father of seven children, Engh is the author of “Unsinkable Spirit,” an award-winning book published in 2015 that looks at his fascinating life. In 1999, he authored “Why Johnny Hates Sports,” a first-of-its-kind look at the serious problems plaguing organized sports and, more importantly, what needs to be done to correct them.
“As part of our mission to build a culture of ethics in Palm Beach County these forums highlight the many different ways that ethics show up in our everyday personal and professional lives,’’ said Kim Ardila-Morgan, director of the Center for Applied Ethics. “Sports are typically considered to be character building opportunities, but we are increasingly seeing pressure, abuse and a win at all costs behavior from coaches, parents and administrators. There are a lot of issues in sports from Little League up through the professional leagues, so we decided to take a look at the beginning of the pipeline.”
For more information or to register, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/CAE.