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to the concept of play.

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Converse All Star White Mono

Converse All Star White Mono

And so, as I watch the very creative and heart warming "play" commercials by the Canadian Tire Corporation, I truly hope that sales of their sporting and outdoor equipment soar Cheap Womens Black Converse Shoes

Have we so successfully trained our children that meaningful play does not occur unless it is organized and supervised by adults, accompanied by stats and scoreboards, with championships and banquets held upon its conclusion, that they do not know what our form of nostalgic play was all about.

As a youngster growing up in the hamlet of Gros Cap, just west of Sault Ste. Marie, my childhood is filled with great memories of "just playing". On any given evening, the Daigle boys, who lived at the far west end of Gros Cap, would start walking east down the highway. Along the way, they would be joined by the Quinn family, the Brytaks, the McAuliffes, the Masseys, the Kempneys, the O'Connors, the Berthelots, and anyone else who was interested in playing. At the end of the road was found our beat up old sports field, and there we would hold court and just play games until the sun went down. Weary and beat up, we all had Converse All Star White Mono a good mile to walk back home at the end of our playing.

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According to their own marketing executives, this is more than just advertising. It is an ideology aimed at engaging Canadian youth to bring back play, to be more active, to move more, and in so doing, to become a nation of stronger people. They suggest that over half our youth are not playing to their full capabilities, but rather, are pre occupied by their ipods, cell phones, video games, and multitude of other electronic and mostly sedentary gadgets.

The routine was the same each year, baseball in the spring, football in the summer, and great soccer matches in the fall. Winter meant hiking several miles up Baldy Mountain to toboggan down its wild mountain roads, or skating endlessly on the frozen Lake Superior out front. The occasional broken bone, frozen extremities, cheers of laughter, and hundreds of hours of fun physical exercise was the rule of our day, not the exception.

As a teacher in London, Ontario in the mid nineties, I can recall asking my students if they ever had the occasion on a Saturday morning to gather up a gang of neighbourhood kids, head on over to the local ball diamond, and just play a game of sweep, scrub, and wax. Their response was rather predictable. "Sweep, scrub and what?" "You mean without umpires, without coaches, without fans in the bleachers. What kind of game would that be?"

I probably sound like the typical old timer telling the younger generation that we used to walk to school uphill both ways back in our day, but I really think we have lost our way when it comes Converse All Star Leather Hi Red

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Parent organizers proudly hand out the year end awards, and our children unknowingly, and without care, lose the treasured and hard earned medallions behind their play stations and x boxes located infront of their flat screen high definition televisions. The new battle cry is "hey, did you get to the next level?"

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On any rainy day, we would gather at someone's house, and the boardgames Risk or Monopoly would come out. Some of our boardgame sessions became so rowdy and raucous, that they too could have been labelled physical play.

Possibly, the new world order in North American cities does not allow for our old style of play. Kids cannot be left alone and unattended in big cities where predators most certainly lurk behind every stop sign. The safety of the old neighbourhood, whereby all families knew every kid on the block, and looked out for each other, has been replaced by neighbourhoods where folks are just too busy to know the kid who lives two doors down.

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There is a marketing movement afoot from the fine people at Canadian Tire coinciding with the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The "We all play for Canada" commercials may just be one of the greatest advertising endeavours Canadian Tire has ever launched.

Get out and play

to record levels. For if their sales do experience that increase, we can only hope that more of our Canadian kids, have learned the true value of just "playing".

As one of Canada's largest purveyors of baseball gloves, hockey sticks, skateboards, and bicycles, this latest ad campaign embarked on by Canadian Tire is a no brainer. The more kids play, the better their bottom line.

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It may be a sad commentary on life in our new millennium that kids cannot play in the same manner that we did. Over Christmas I read Bobbie Orr's new book, (an incredible read by the way) and although he owes much of his success to the coaches and minor hockey volunteers who mentored him along the way, he acknowledges quite frankly, that it was the backyard play with the neighbourhood kids in Parry Sound that groomed him into the world's greatest defenceman.

likely has it right, and if they are doing this for all the right reasons, then it is a win/win situation for every Canadian family.

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