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Archive for High School Sports

Pay to Play sports Today was the first day of Winter Sports practice in our county for the Middle Schools and High Schools. That also means in two weeks I will have to pull out my checkbook and stroke a check for $100 for my son to be on the High School Swim Team. Since when do you have to pay to be on a public high school sports team?

As education budgets get cut and schools look for creative ways to save money, more and more school districts across the country are implementing pay to play fees for their athletes. In our county it is $100 per season, per athlete beginning in Middle School. While the $100 fee is not a hardship for our family, it is for many in our county – and for many it is the difference between playing high school sports and sitting on the couch after school.

High school sports at my kids’ school are already being hit hard. Last year the school district did away with the activity buses – the buses that take kids home after sports or other extra-curricular activities are done. Being that our high school serves a large and rather rural area of our county, many students who played sports before now have no way of getting home from practice as many parents both work and car pools are not always an option. So now, add to the mix, pay to play, and many of our children simply cannot participate in high school sports.

These same children who are missing out on the opportunity to play are the same children who really need all the positive that sports has to offer – from fitness to self confidence to discipline and everything in between.

What do you think? Is Pay-to-Play becoming the norm? Is it fair? Is there a better solution? What is a reasonable amount to require? Leave a comment, because I would love to hear your insight!

Categories : High School Sports
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Sep
07

The Run

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Youth Running My junior year of high school some friends convinced me to tryout for the Cross Country team at school. The first few weeks were hard but I soon came to love running – running that was not done on a track. I loved the workouts we did at a local park, the runs that took us through the woods, and even the ones that involved hills – big hills. After high school I continued to run – whenever I could find a running buddy (because running alone is just no fun to me).

My favorite run became the 5-mile loop through the woods, around the lake and along side the golf course of a local county park. It became my Sunday morning reawakening. For years I met a good friend or two at the park at least once a week for our run – never really obsessed with our time – rather more concerned about getting caught up on the week’s news and how we felt. We did local races – 5k, 10k, and even a 10-miler or two – not because we ever thought we could win, but because it was just fun.

Unfortunately my running days are behind me –  a genetic pre-disposition to deteriorating joints and arthritis have me doing other forms of exercise (like walking, golf and swimming) – I really do miss the run and the feeling of the crisp morning air going through my lungs.

Now my kids are old enough to participate in running – and I think my son may even try Cross Country next year when he starts high school. In looking for resources to help them have more fun running and looking for some upcoming races I have found some great youth running resources:

I also recommend checking your local running store for more information on upcoming races, clinics and youth running groups in your area.

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Sep
03

Supporting Girls in Sports

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High School Girls Soccer

September is here and most schools are starting back up and that means fall sports. But it is not all about Football and Cheerleaders. Girls have been training all summer for team sports like soccer, field hockey, cross country, basketball, volleyball and more. This fall will you be on the sidelines cheering them on?

Author, Elizabeth Bevarly wrote a really great piece about her niece playing high school soccer and the lack of community support for the girls playing.

We need to start steering our girls more toward sports. And we need to go to their games, to show them how much we support their decision to play. If you have a local girls’ team near you, why not go to their next game? It cost four bucks apiece for my husband and me last night–my son was free. Less than the price of a movie, and every bit as entertaining. And I know those girls sweating out on the field in 95-degree temps really appreciated our being there.

I challenge you to take the opportunity to really get out there and cheer for the girls this fall. If you don’t have a daughter playing high school sports, ask around – I’m sure you have a friend of a friend who does. Take your daughter and make it an event!

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Categories : High School Sports
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