Club Sport Struggles

The difference between school and club sports is unfair

By JIllian Chesney

Here at Dexter High School, there are many sports that are not recognized by the school, and subsequently are categorized as club sports. Field hockey, lacrosse, freshmen baseball, water polo, and equestrian are the club sports at DHS. These sports are only given a varstiy letter if they meet the set requirements.

These sports do not receive any of the benefits of a varsity sport. The benefits of a varsity sport include busing to every away game, locker rooms, and a school-funded budget. Club sports are required to fundraise their own money to pay for equipment, uniforms, and transportation.

Because club sports have to pay for their own transportation, these sports have to pick and choose when they want to schedule a bus. There are often one-way buses or parents coordinating carpools.

This can often create conflicts. Teams fundraise in many different ways such as selling cookie dough, mulch, popcorn, and by hosting dinners. School sports still fundraise, however they aren’t required to raise nearly as much money as club sports because of the school-funded budget.

The athletic department’s budget is split between all of the varsity sports based on things that the sport demands, meaning every varsity sport will not receive the same amount of money.

The decision of which sports are funded is determined by DHS alone – there is no set rule of which sports the school is required to fund. The school decided which sports to fund by following the image of what other schools were doing.

The main reason why the district does not fund club sports is because there is simply not enough money. The sports that are not funded are labeled club sports.

With the school’s current budget, Principal Kit Moran does not see club sports getting funded anytime soon.

Many people question why sideline cheerleading is recognized as a varsity sport, saying it’s an activity with a sole purpose of simply motivating another sport. This is not meant to single out sideline cheer as the only problem, however. Instead of funding the cosmetic parts of sports like spirit wear for football or basketball, this money could go towards funding club sports.

Now consider sports like field hockey (which has only lost a few regular season games in the past three seasons, won the Division II State Championship in 2014, and was a state finalist last season) and equestrian (a cost-heavy sport that would benefit from the additional budgeting) are getting denied varsity status and all the benefits that go along with it.

DHS needs to reevaluate their funds to varsity sports and consider funding club sports.