Jay Simpson, a former Champaign Central High School and Purdue basketball standout, writes for The News-Gazette. He can be reached at

jay simpson

Jay Simpson on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

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It’s important to keep our children active.

How will they ever know what they enjoy or what they are good at if they’ve never tried anything?

I often hear people say they aren’t going to force their child to do anything they don’t want to do, but if they never try, they will never know if they want to continue or not.

I will always require my children to try new things at least once, and then they can decide if they want to move forward with it or not.

Allowing our children to be inactive is only creating bad habits. I understand sports aren’t for everyone, but there are lots of other activities children can do besides playing video games and lounging around the house.

Children need to be outside experiencing new things and situations so that their minds can grow.

My mother made

sure I was active my entire childhood, and I can’t thank her enough for that.

Whether it was getting out raking leaves, shoveling snow or playing sports, I was always busy.

I never really had the desire to sit around and play the game because my generation valued being active.

Times have changed, and parents today allow children to get away with a lot more than our parents did.

To each their own, but when the child grows up and doesn’t have the motivation to do anything besides lounge around and play games, you can’t blame them, because that is all they’re used to.

Let’s break the cycle and get our kids active again.

Jay Simpson writes for The News-Gazette. His column appears Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. He can be reached at

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