I've been involved in our local AYSO region in Altoona for 29 consecutive years. I've functioned as a parent, assistant coach, head coach and a referee. I am also a psychotherapist and a faculty member in psychology and community counseling at Mount Aloysius.
Clearly, our world experiences far too much lethal violence. In part, the seeds of violence are sown over the first five-plus years of our life. When our earliest experiences are filled with aggression and violence, we create personalities that are antisocial.
Much of the world's destruction is caused by these persons.
AYSO nourishes our youth by focusing heavily on personal character-building as well as that of team character. When we talk about character we are actually referring to personality. The first five-plus years are critical to laying a productive personality foundation, called prosocial.
As a referee, I am well known, on and off the field of play, as a protector of the spirit of the beautiful game of soccer. This spirit entails fair play, safe play and fun. I will continue to be involved in AYSO for years to come for these reasons. In fact, I have reserved a Segway to run up and down the field well into my 70s and 80s.
I hope that the health-care company that buys Valley View embraces the AYSO organization as dearly as I do.
Richard G. Kensinger