Small Town Soap Box Derby

June 20, 2011
The All American Soap Box Derby has been around for 76 years. It’s given children across the globe, not only a fun sport to participate in, but provides them a good foundation in character as well as being educational. Yet Small Town doesn’t have a local race. This is strange considering one of the many benefits of hosting these events would be the opportunity to show off our wonderful town. In addition, sponsoring a race is in line with the values and community involvement that our town prides itself on.

The least known fact about Soap Box racing is that it’s educational. It allows kids to work with tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches and drills. You have to use these tools to try and bring your car together. Exact measurements are a key part of racing and assist with developing math skills. If the axels on your car get bent out of shape, you’ve got to straighten them back out with a measuring tool that deals in millimeters. If you’re off by just 5 millimeters then you have just slowed down your car. Besides the car itself, it’s also important to have a basic understanding of physics. You need to know about aerodynamics and how the correct weight positioned properly gives the car more energy to race, therefore going faster.

Another thing that Soap Box Derby racing has done is bring communities together. Especially for smaller towns like ours. Families from all around come to race and have a good time together. For some families, bonding time is limited to the 5 minutes before breakfast and after dinner. Participating in Soap Box Derby racing would give them an activity that provides quality time, not just time spent in front of the TV or computer. This could give them more time to talk and interact. Even local businesses can gain from it by becoming a sponsor for a driver. Sponsorship provides advertising on the car and the driver is able to race a better car.

The final thing I’d like to call your attention to is the building of character. Sportsmanship and competition thrive in the racing environment. Since you are racing against your friends, you’re going to be nice and congratulate others on their wins. Being a good sport isn’t a necessity, but it’s natural in Soap Box racing. Now, for the people who love football and baseball, I have nothing against team sports, but racing is one of the few sports where someone can say I did it. I won. I deserve this trophy. You can’t say that with a team. It will always be “We did it”. The ability to say that you accomplished something on your own is one of the greatest joys of racing.

What I’m trying to tell you, leaders of Small Town, is that we need a race. I understand that money has to be used sparingly, but money is the one thing needed to get racing started. However, the benefits outweigh the risks. If we could start a race we could help kids, families, local businesses and the future.





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