Home > Sports > Mansfield High students will lose more than just sports

Mansfield High students will lose more than just sports

Yesterday, the Mansfield School Committee voted to eliminate all high school sports in an attempt to lower their budget. Mansfield high school has a history of excellence in sports, which will come to an end if this vote is upheld. According to the Boston Herald, “Cutting sports is expected to save the district $643,471. The elimination of other extra-curricular activities will save $20,000. Town Meeting has the final say on the school budget when it meets May 4” (Ventura, Crimaldi and Mason. “Mansfield votes to dropkick sports programs” April 15th, 2010).

In making these cuts, the students of Mansfield high school will lose more than just their athletics program. The benefits of sports are endless. Obesity rates in this country are out of control, with one in three adults being obese. Sports are important in keeping kids active along with teaching them life lessons. By cutting sports, the message sent is that they are low priority, along with the health of the students. High school athletics only require physical education for the first two years of attendance. By eliminating sports, along with the lack of physical education kids are receiving, these kids will have few ways to get their necessary exercise.

There are countless social benefits of playing team sports as well.

“Youth sport programs can be used to foster positive youth development and build character…youth sport also has the potential to provide several of the internal assets, such as achievement, motivation, integrity, honesty, responsibility and restraint (Wells & Banning, 2008, p.192).” There is more to this than just an activity for fun.

Furthermore, sports can be used for “…providing opportunities for enhancing self-concept and developing social skills, such as working with others; leadership; and interaction between peers. In addition to social skills, youth sports can offer educational merit because they are capable of proving the moral, physical, mental and cognitive development opportunities that can lead to a successful adulthood” (Wells & Banning, 2008, p.192)).

At a time when sports are starting to use captains and leadership is developed, it is important for kids to experience this. Working together, as a team is a concept that people learn at a young age and use for their entire lives. Teamwork is used in any business setting. The lessons they have learned from playing sports are directly related to their applications into their future lives in different settings. Taking responsibility, sportsmanship, and teamwork are just a few of the benefits that come from team sports participation.

The final thing that these kids are going to be losing is a time killer. It sounds silly but when given free time, kids are often going to do what they want. This can be bad news, as bored kids tend to get into trouble.

“Mahoney found that participation in extracurricular activities was related to lower levels of offending. (talking about criminal offenses) Furthermore, in a study investigating teenagers physical activity, Pate found that cigarette smoking, marijuana use and perception of low academic performance were associated with those who engaged in little to no physical activity. Pate noted that providing structures and supervised after-school activities may reduce adolescents’ exposure to potential risk behaviors” (Burton & Marshall, 2005, p.51).

These are all negative results that can come from lack of physical activity, which is something that is important to these youth. There is another vote on May 4th to see if the school district can find alternative ways of finding the money. Clearly there is more to high school sports than just having fun. The results of cutting all high school sports will have huge effects on the kids, which is why kids will be losing more than just sports.

Wells, M., & Arthur-Banning, S. (2008). The Logic of Youth Development: Constructing a Logic Model of Youth Development through Sport. Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, 26(2), 189-202. Retrieved from Hospitality & Tourism Complete database.

Burton, J., & Marshall, L. (2005). Protective factors for youth considered at risk of criminal behaviour: does participation in extracurricular activities help?. Criminal Behaviour And Mental Health: CBMH, 15(1), 46-64. Retrieved from MEDLINE database.

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  1. April 15, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Nice read, I feel the same way about the elimination of school sports. They have taken physical education out of elm schools and all of a sudden children are packing on the pounds more then ever!

  2. Ryan Burke
    April 15, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Some interesting views within this article and raises many valid points. Sports are almost necessary to help a person’s development. When I was in high school they made the students play to participate which could be a possible solution but this also turned some kids away from participating. Tough loss for Mansfield

  3. Abby Sullivan
    April 22, 2010 at 11:40 am

    The importance of team sports is lifelong. Learning to work together and be a team can impact so many facets of someone’s life from college dorm housing to working at a job as well as being part of social groups. Well said, Dan

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