Ken Fairman takes charge at HPBSA

By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld….
Ken Fairman is the new president of the Howard Palmetto Baseball Softball Association after serving on the board last year and managing teams for five years.

Fairman says he has enjoyed being a part of the HPBA, that he has had a lot of fun and that he views the association as everybody’s community baseball league.

“There are so many people to help and things to do,” he says. “We’re going to promote it a little bit more to get more people involved.”

Fairman says he was impressed with the organization from the start.

“Everybody cares,” he says. “We have our disagreements about how competitive we should be, but everyone cares.”

Over the years, Fairman has found a way to manage his time as a pavement maintenance contractor for Driveway Maintenance and do his volunteer work.

“I really feel fortunate; there are so many parents who want to volunteer, but can’t,” he says.

Fairman believes that a parent only gets one chance to coach their child in youth sports and that is a driving force behind his volunteer efforts.

“It’s really what I want parents to understand – manage or coach and you’ll have the best season of your life,” he says. “There is so much good that comes from volunteering. This is not hard work.”

Fairman has an 11-year old son, William, who plays baseball in the league. He also has a 14-year old daughter, Lauren, who just started at Coral Reef.

“We’re trying to step up parental involvement,” he says. “We’d like to really push the softball program and get more girls to play softball. Too many people don’t think about putting their daughters in softball and that’s a shame.”

Fairman says playing softball has benefits for girls as well as boys. It’s not only fun for the kids, but also fun for the moms and dads.

“We’re trying to make playing more fun,” he says. “We’re going to try to grow the number, even if they only play to age 11 or 12.”

Another of Fairman’s goals as president is to increase the number of coaching clinics so coaches will be better prepared, and he also would like to get more playing time for each kid. He also wants to have kids playing several sports instead of picking a sport at age five and never trying anything else.

“I’ve been coaching soccer through the YMCA for about 10 years,” he says. “I like my kids to play soccer and baseball. And we’re going to try flag football.”

Fairman says some parents believe their child will only excel if they devote their time to one sport.

“The next thing you know, the kids are on a travel team playing year round and soon they are tired of it,” he says. “The parents who are really driven only want their kids to play with the best kids.”

Fairman says that at Howard Palmetto and other community leagues, that concept goes against the grain. The community leagues have rules requiring that all kids get to play. The idea is to have fun while learning the game. Fairman says he wants the kids to be competitive, but with good sportsmanship and respect for each other.

“They’re just little kids,” he says. “That’s why we’re trying to promote it in the school. It’s fun and the kids do like it.”

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