I think as long as the parents are active and engaged in the process, meaning they are educated enough to monitor their children and know if there are issues, it is fine. I started on the cross-country team in public school and into high school, I never had the endurance to go beyond the 5k. I started skating at 5 and took my Gold Dances at 16, I have a bit of damage in my one leg from landing jumps in freestyle and am a bit bitter kids today don't have to qualify with figures
, but other than that, and it's a defect not a injury related issue.
But I say that with a far different philosophy on sports then others. I think there should be fighting in hockey, I think kids must be active on team sports in school and in the community - even if they suck. I think parents should be active as well, there were nights my old body creaked and groaned getting out of the car from ball, and maybe DD didn't understand now, but in time I hope she comprehends that you don't miss games, you play hurt and you go out to win every time.
As long as the parents are involved, the children are healthy enough to do the marathons, they have actual doctors, not some of the fast serve in and out in a minute speed practitioners who are monitoring them. My hat is off to them! I will probably never be conditioned enough to run a marathon, 5ks here or there, riding a bike. Different strokes for different folks, I think becoming active physically early teaches wonderful lessons. I should probably shut up now, you are all probably picturing some crazy hockey mom who would shoot her own kid up with cortizone for a chance at the big leagues - and there are days I'm glad I had a girl, because I could see it too.