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Athletic Funding: An issue or a simple miscommunication?

Junior Delaney Tase stands by the old blocks during practice

Photo Courtesy of SR Photo

Junior Delaney Tase stands by the old blocks during practice

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Many student athletes have expressed their opinions on the funding of their sports. Teams feel that in order to match the community’s expectations they need to be given the best facilities and equipment. However, some feel that they are receiving what they deserve.

 

Members of both girls and boys swim and dive teams spent the past couple of years noticing the higher quality starting blocks at other high schools all over Illinois. They pondered why their blocks were completely out of date. As swimmers returned to high school competition season after summer break, they were told their blocks were getting replaced by the Elmhurst Swim Team. Members of York’s aquatics teams have questioned why the communities’ youth swim team paid for their new starting blocks.

 

“We wanted to get these blocks in by the end of July of last year and Elmhurst Swim Team was willing to fund it, even though it is for our school team,” junior Delaney Tase said. “However, the blocks ended up getting approved all the way in October.”

Photo by Annika Tourlas
The new blocks that were replaced by the Elmhurst Swim Team have been a huge help to the aquatic teams.

 

Some students view the way the school funds athletics as an issue. Some feel that the uniforms, and warm-ups they are told they “need” are too expensive. Others feel that their sports could improve if they were given better equipment. In the case of the swim team’s starting blocks, they were donated by the Elmhurst Swim Team, because they recognized an urgent need for them.

 

With many putting blame on the athletic department and the boosters board, the issue was brought up to the assistant principal for athletics, Robert Wagner. Wagner wanted student athletes to get educated on how the funding process works because he is confident that both girls and boys athletics are funded fairly.

 

“I have nothing to hide,” Wagner said. “ I am confident that both girls and boys are funded appropriately.”  

 

The issue could also be the coach to athlete communication. In the beginning of the school year, Wagner and the boosters sent out a sheet to all head coaches requesting them to list any equipment needed for their sports in that year. Some coaches may list equipment that is not seen by the athletes, like in the case of track this past year, they received attachments that go underneath the pole vaulting mat. Others may not request anything because the year prior they received something of great value.

 

“Aquatics recently received their new scoreboard that cost $60,000, and was split 50/50 with the district,” Wagner said. “Water Polo also received new shock clocks and goals last year. So their coaches will not request anything expensive after a major purchase.”

Photo Courtesy of SR Photo
Swimmer gets ready to start her race while using the old blocks

 

When it comes to our parent-run boosters board, they are doing everything they can to make sure York athletics continues to make a name for themselves. The Athletic Boosters raised and approved $88,000 on athletic requests for the 2016 through 2017 school year. Boosters work hard to give sports equipment that is requested; however, they will not buy uniforms, or anything of cloth material.

 

Some may think that football and basketball receive more funding from boosters because they are high revenue sports due to admissions and concessions. However, York concessions at any event can be runned by any club or sport. All money made at concessions will be given to the activity that worked it, not the sport the event belonged to unless the team signed up for concessions as well.

 

“If drama works concessions, the money they earned goes back to their activity account,” Wagner said.

 

If students are still concerned for their sports and feel they need better quality equipment, then they should express that to their coaches so it can later be placed on their request to boosters for the next season.

 

“It all depends if coaches submit a request,” Wagner said.

 

As long as purchases are necessary and reasonable, the boosters team will try their best to provide the team with their requests. Athletics have always been a huge part of not just the York community, but Elmhurst as a whole, and it will continue to be supported by everyone with in this school, and the city.

 

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