The importance of high school sports

November 22, 2016
Julia Yoon  University High School  10th Grade

Julia Yoon
University High School
10th Grade

Participating in various activities such as school athletic activities could provide an outlet for students to reduce stress from their academic classes, to engage with their education, and to increase academic performances and attendance. However, due to a lack of funding, the era of high school sports could be coming to a close. According to the website Sports in School, about 3.5 billion dollars in funding was cut from urban primary schools in the United States from the year of 2009 to 2011.

Currently, all funding responsibilities for public education from kindergarten to 12th grade reside within the states. In the year of 2012, the federal government spent about 107.6 billion dollars on education. It is about one-eighth as much as Social Security and about a fifth of Medicare spending. These national budgets come from local government, but most of these funds are sent directly to states and local school districts for their use in schools.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 31.9 percent of girls and 34.6 percent of boys attended a physical education program daily. Without healthy experiences outside the classroom, many young people are at risk of obesity, depression, substance abuse, crime, and dropping out of school. Sports teams not only provide appropriate and necessary physical activities, but also support students to feel safe and provide a sense of belonging. Students can learn teamwork, how to take direction from a leader or a coach, the payoff of hard work, and leadership skills. Mathematical Policy Research performed a study which showed that playing sports and having a leadership role in high school were significant factors on earnings later in life. Adding on, in 2005, economists Peter Kuhn and Catherine Weinberger revealed that those who took on leadership roles in high school earned between four and 33 percent more as adults.

Sports could be an outlet to students in lower income communities. According to, United States Colleges awarded over 3 million dollars in athletic scholarship to varsity athletes during 2014. Students who play sports at high school and are willing to pursue academic courses but do not have financial support can aim for scholarships that are focused on athletics. Students who have been playing sports since their high school year have advantages on these kind of specialized scholarships



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