Equal Funding in High School Sports

Steven Moore, Assistant Editor

As an athlete, one important thing in all high schools that oftentimes gets overlooked is the amount of funding that goes into sports. A first hand experience of mine can create some bias, but it is seemingly unfair traveling to these other high schools that have these beautiful hitting facilities, while we have some old football turf and rubber baseballs to use.

An easy assumption for some would be that funding for athletics many times appears to be a given, and/or is a priority over school funding involving education. However, this should not be the case. For one, more than six million dollars is spent on textbooks and in class resources for students every year across the United States according to an article by New Foundations. This is a significant amount, considering how schools decide to portion out their funding. 

There are recurring issues of sports programs being dropped because of the lack of funding, coaches, or players because sports are not taken as seriously as they need to be. A study by the National Federation states, “Extracurricular activities help make better citizens, while creating unique opportunities for students who might not otherwise get to experience in only a regular classroom setting.” Opportunities such as playing a sport are not only engaging individually, but they bring the aspect of socialization, and bonding with other people. Regardless of the sport you play, you will meet people, build relationships and learn how to communicate with other people just by participating. It is a small part of sports that goes unrecognized, but for myself, some of my best friends that I will ever have I met through baseball and basketball. To me, this is more important than the game itself. Building character benefits you further down the road than the skill of the sport ever will.

Athletics and other extracurricular programs are vital in a school’s reputation, success and well being. At Issaquah, the majority of the sports teams had good seasons this year. In the fall, the girls soccer team achieved second in state. Very impressive, coming off a short season last year with COVID-19 restrictions. In the spring, both boys soccer and baseball made it to the final eight in state. Because of this, Issaquah is put on the map across the state because of their reputation in certain sports. This is important because this provides athletes many opportunities for recruitment looks, and communications with coaches at the next level. 

Last, it is important to recognize the importance of competing outside of school. High school athletes like to look good, feel good and play well. We want to have comfortable uniforms that are visibly appealing, nice playing conditions, and resources around us that allow us to succeed. Although this is overlooked, having these things met is important for the success of not only the athlete, but the team as well. Schools will tend to limit these issues because it is not seen as a necessity in their eyes. It is sometimes disrespectful and inconsiderate of their athletes because they do not show their players that they care about what they want. The aspect of competing with peers in your community gives an ultimate feeling of joy over all else. Representing your school this way is a feeling that all athletes take pride in.

Overall, funding must increase in school sports. It is vital in some student’s lives, and I believe that it is one of the most important things in maintaining a strong community in a school.