REVIEW OF REVIEWS

An Official Reply to Mr. Edwards

“fynical, carping criticism" says Amateur Athletic Union executive of article, "Bootleg Amateurs"

W. A. FRY December 15 1930
REVIEW OF REVIEWS

An Official Reply to Mr. Edwards

“fynical, carping criticism" says Amateur Athletic Union executive of article, "Bootleg Amateurs"

W. A. FRY December 15 1930

An Official Reply to Mr. Edwards

“fynical, carping criticism" says Amateur Athletic Union executive of article, "Bootleg Amateurs"

W. A. FRY

Past President of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and member of the executive of ihe Amateur Athletic Union of Canada.

REVIEW OF REVIEWS

IN VIEW of the wide publicity given to criticism of the bona fides, and an attempt to discredit, the men who are responsible for the promotion of amateur sport in Canada, I feel that we should reiterate our continued confidence and belief in our work, and our determination to pursue it to our objective.

May I make this statement: There never was a time in the history of the world when civilization realized more its responsibility to our youth, to the unfortunates and under-privileged, and there is no nation in the world where more money and time are being spent in living up to that responsibility than in Canada, or where more general recognition of the injunction that we are to be our brother’s keeper has been shown than in this, our Dominion.

Time was—and not very distant either —when such organizations as Rotary, Kiwanis, Gyro, Lions, Daughters of the Empire, Children’s Aid Societies, Home and School Clubs, Women’s Institutes, and scores of others were unknown. Later, when the need pressed, men and women banded together to give service to their fellow men. Governments recognized the principle of establishing schools for the blind, institutes for the deaf and dumb, asylums for those who, unfortunately, have been unable to withstand the stress of life’s storm mentally, hospitals for the relief of the sick and maimed. These all vie with one another in organized effort for the help, encouragement and uplift of society at large.

The world recognizes that a clean healthy body is just as essential as a cleanhealthy mind in attaining and maintaining the highest standard of citizenship, and sport was early recognized as being second to no other human endeavor in promotion work among the youth of the nation toward that end. Then time came when the need of organized control was realized, and as a result all branches of sport in Canada are officered and led by men of recognized standing in the various provinces. Logically followed the organization of the Amateur Athletic Union to strengthen and maintain the increasing high standards set by its allied bodies.

In the development of our organization

to its present high standard, the press must share the credit with the actual workers. As a newspaper man—even with a humble weekly—of over forty years experience, I feel competent to say that the press can be a constructive power for good if properly used in molding public opinion, or a destructive power if its influence is abused, and there exists no mightier weapon to undo what men have spent a lifetime in achieving. Happily the great majority of newspapers and magazines, realizing the influence they carry into the homes, lend a supporting hand in developing a higher citizenship, but as in all other avenues of life there are exceptions to this rule.

The spade work in molding the minds

and bodies of the boys and girls of Canada is done in the schools, colleges and universities. In the public and high schools, children are in their formative period and most susceptible to the teachings of the spirit of the golden rule and playthe-game ideals. Most of them leave school under fifteen years of age and here is where we function, continuing their development and character building through the important years until they pass to their life’s vocation. Engaged in this work is a grand army of Canada’s very best men. They put up the money to clothe and equip the boys, and provide coaching in the various branches of sport. Their only hope of reward is through the raising of human standards, mentally and

physically. The enviable accomplishments of Canada’s athletes, such as our peerless Percy Williams, at home and abroad in competition with the world are the best answer as to whether our expenditure of time, money and effort has been justified.

All the cynical, carping criticisms I have ever read have come from pens which had a personal axe to grind, or some other just as ulterior motive, or from those who have spent much of their lives in the very atmosphere they condemn. Certainly the charge that amateur sport is honeycombed in any large degree with veiled professionalism is not true. The fathers and mothers of the school boys and girls know it is not true. All the churches, as well as the service organizations and influences for good in Canada know it is not true, because they are all supporting some kind of youth welfare work themselves It would be a sorry day for Canada, indeed, if it were true. So let us keep our chins up and meet our problems as they face us. None know better than we that the spirit of amateurism is sometimes abused, just as there are violations of the law against theft and cheating. But the nation does not say because people steal and cheat we shall open the doors and discard the laws against offenders. Instead, the nation provides a police force to protect society against vice, just as we are a police force to keep amateur sport clean.

The silver lining in our cloud is still there, even if it is at times obscured, and it is shining just as brightly as at any time in our history. The greatest achieve ments in world history on land and sea have been performed for honor ajid glory, not for remuneration or reward. Hundreds of thousands of human hearts entertaining the highest ideals known to man, scattered all over our Canada, are sponsoring and backing us up in our uplift work, and I know that you all agree with me that we are prepared to accept the challenge to look in the face the blackest page of amateur sport history our critics can produce and still carry on toward the ultimate fulfillment of the ideals we cherish as the final destiny of amateur sport in Canada,