Editorials published by the Goffstown Residents
Association are written by various members and
contributing non-members of the GRA.

Let the children play

February 21, 2008

by Stephen Beal

     As a resident in the Town of Goffstown I would like to express my support of Warrant Article 11. I have coached my kids and watched them play various sports over the last several years on various fields around town. For the most part they have played on fields that are privately owned and the use of these venues has been generously donated by the Villa, The Allard family, The Lions Club, etc. I am thankful that these folks and organizations have been so generous and considerate of the youth in this community. My three children have benefited and continue to benefit from the generosity of these folks.

    Due to the fact that we just don't have the available space to get our teams on fields that suit their sport there are many times when multiple sports share a field through the course of the same day. Soccer and football playing on a baseball outfield, baseball players shagging fly balls around a soccer net, or softball players not being able to use their own field so that little leaguers have a place to practice. These are not ideal conditions for our kids and certainly the future is not bright for the next generation of kids to take the fields of sport.  

     Fortunately we have an opportunity to correct this and plan for the future of our community. Next month, March 11th, we have the opportunity to vote in support of Article #11 thus giving direction to
our future recreational needs. Our town is projected to grow by roughly 14% in the first 10 years of the 21st century. Approximately 25% of our population is under the age 18. That's a lot of kids that could use a nice place to play, compete, and enjoy the camaraderie of our community in a central location for years to come. This is a good deal. Nearly 30 acres of land at a good price, in a great location, with a proactive plan for growth and the future. 

     Having coached in our Little League and our Babe Ruth programs over the last few years I would like to share something that only the baseball community knows. Over the last 4 years numerous teams and families from other towns and states have come to Goffstown to play in Little League and Babe Ruth tournaments. Comments I have heard many times over from these folks is how dedicated our people are to hosting a great event, from getting the fields in top shape, committing to top notch concession folks and menus, ample volunteers to assist folks with whatever they need, and most of all how everyone comes together to support the kids. This means all of the kids, regardless of whether they're our competitive rivals from Bedford, or a resilient group of 13 year olds from Manchester, or even a team from northern Vermont who was happy to be playing on the Dr. Allard's field of dreams. The point is this, we have an opportunity to help secure our kids' recreational future, a chance to create a place for the kid in all of us to enjoy, and better yet we hold the key to unlock a central location to showcase our community and demonstrate who we are and how we come together.  

     I will be at the polls on the 11th of March to vote yes on Article #11 because it is a good deal, it's in a great location, it fills a need we have for recreational spaces, both fields and parks. Please get out to vote. Let the children play.



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