In response to the editorial in The Buffalo News on Dec. 21, I don’t believe any parent should be pushing their child into any sport or activity just to get a scholarship. I believe students need to choose activities that will allow them to grow, whether it is sports, scouting or after school clubs.

Esports is not traditional sports, however, it is the fastest growing team competition in the country. Esports allows all students to participate in a team activity. This is particularly important for our special education students, and students who cannot physically qualify for traditional sports.

Any activity that engages students, teaches them teamwork and compassion, and gives them a safe place to stay for a few hours after school is worthwhile. The students on my teams know more about CPUs and networking servers than many holding entry level jobs in the computer industry. They are becoming tech savvy, which will serve them well no matter what they plan to pursue.

Not everyone will be offered a scholarship, but many colleges are now recruiting students as part of their growing Esports initiatives.

I think we need to look past our bias for any sport and instead look at the opportunities and pathways to success these activities may provide. This technology is the future, and these students are learning how to be computer literate, compassionate members of a team.

A surgeon told us about how they used esports to help train for robotic surgery. We are using esports to build confidence for all students, give them a safe and supervised place for after school activities, introduce them to technology, and just maybe help them get some extra money for college. If this happens, I see esports as a win for all of us.

Jackie Albarella

Teacher and esports coach, Lewis J. Bennett School of Innovative Technology

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