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Reach for the bar Howard Tiger set

PaulaBy Paula Bowers-Sanchez

The new Howard Tiger Recreation Center coming to the Hollywood Reservation is rightfully named and dedicated to a man whose life was filled with great accomplishment. As a relative of Howard Tiger, I feel honored and blessed. His achievements had a tremendous impact on our Tribal elders and the Seminole Tribe as a whole.

I was inspired during the groundbreaking ceremony Jan. 14 as I sat listening to our Tribal elders speak about the principles of discipline and dedication Howard instilled through our Tribal athletics. It made me contemplate how sports played such an important role in my life growing up.

It was through sports that I learned the “stick with it” attitude that will always get us to the finish line, whether we are winning or losing. Through sports, we learn how to be humble, handle defeat and realize that it really doesn’t matter if you win or lose; it’s about the journey that gets you to your goal.

We also realize that there are different, better ways of reaching certain goals by making mistakes and learning from those mistakes. Sports teach us about camaraderie and friendship, and what it means to be a team player.

Being a team player and learning to work well with others toward a common goal is a valuable lesson and one that has helped me throughout my life.

So, I encourage all of you to take an active part in supporting your children in athletics. We can all benefit from the positive aspects provided by participating in such activities.

Remember, we are part of a legacy that was set forth many years ago, and it’s up to us to make sure our future generations are prepared to keep moving in a positive direction. Sports and athletics are definitely good vehicles to help with that endeavor.