Education Includes Sports

I am going to get a little preachy today, and try to bang out a quick post on my coffee break. So bear with me. I’m mad, so I am trying to be calm as I write, to be clear.

Last night on the news, my husband and I stared at the TV, jaws dropped, our blood pressure slowly rising. The newscaster had uttered something that right away, pissed us off, then made us sad.

11 Ottawa high schools in the Public board failed to register Fall sports teams by the deadline this year. This means no football, cross-country running, basketball, volleyball, swimming, golf and field hockey… Plus other sports I may not be aware of. There are literally thousands of teens in our high school system who will not get to participate in sports this Fall. At all.

The reason behind it is the lack of teachers to help run them, the lack of staff to file the proper paperwork. Due to the passing of Bill 115, the teachers who normally organize and coach are cutting back (or not doing at all) any extra-curricular activities.This includes registering them with the school board.

Let me get one thing straight. I am not bashing the teachers. Teachers do such an important job, one for which I respect a great deal. It ain’t easy, what they do. I understand their situation, and I understand the reasons for their reaction.

I’m guess I am sad they feel they need to do this, and sacrifice their student’s opportunity to play. Being a teacher is a calling, and deserves proper compensation. But I had hoped that the staff in Ontario schools who help with sports would continue to do so for the love of sport and the experience of their students.

OK. *deep breath* I guess my reason for speaking out is this:

I’m mad because I believe that sport and physical activity is integral to a child’s education. I’m sad because there are a large number of kids who won’t get to play the sport they love this year. I’m sad because kids whose parents can’t afford to pay for city run teams rely on the schools to give their kids the experience in the sports that they want. I’m sad that there are some kids who were counting on their sports team for scholarships and furthering a potential college sports career.

I’m pissed off because this dispute with the province and the teachers hurts the kids, and that, my friends, is not fair to them.

My child started in the Public school system two weeks ago, in JK. In reality, much of the extra-curricular stoppages at his school will not affect him this year. But what about next year? Or the year after that?

I won’t get into what I think of our current Ontario government. There is not enough time to talk about the horse racing industry, the auto industry, the school systems… AUGH!

I voted, so I get to complain, right? *shakes fist*

As a summary, I will say this. If, when it comes time for my son and daughter to join the school teams they want to, and there are no sports for them to do… I will find a school board that does have sports, and if they want, move them there.

Education for my children, if they so choose, will includes sport. If I can, I will be there as a coach or volunteer. If I can, I will encourage and fundraise and cheerlead and chauffeur. This is important to me, and my husband.

Some local news links on the story:

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/sports/Ottawa+high+schools+fail+register+sports+teams+fall+semester/7256041/story.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/09/17/ottawa-sports-teams-high-school-deadline.html

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