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The Milton Measure

Reform the Sports Requirement

by Nicole Acheampong on Friday, November 11th, 2011

This past spring, a friend joined the track team. She had never done a whole lot of running before, but the coach quickly enlisted her for the Hurdles. She took practice slow, making sure she cleared the hurdles and not really worrying about her time. When the first meet came around, she was in it to win it. The first two hurdles passed by easily beneath by widely-stretched legs. Rearing up for the third one, she stumbled briefly, hit the hurdle, and landed flat on her face. She didn’t bother standing back up.

My point is sports are not for everyone. Milton students excel in many different, wide-ranging areas. To varying degrees, every student, just by being at Milton, excels in the classroom.

While a sports requirement holds the potential to introduce students to new activities they may not have otherwise chosen, the reality is that students who do participate in interscholastic sports – soccer, basketball, lacrosse, etc. – may not automatically find any new athletic passions.  There are many ways for students to explore Milton’s opportunities, making sports just one of the many options.

Aside from the perceived social benefits of participating in sports, athletic requirements are meant to promote a healthy lifestyle among students.  Yet, simply obliging us to fulfill a credit does not encourage “individual students [to] make healthy life choices,” as the physical education and athletics department asserts in its course catalog description.  Students can manage teams instead of physically excersizing.  Students can also participate haphazardly in P.E. without true investment.

Additionally, students who participate in sports outside of Milton almost never receive sports credit.  While they are participating in physical excersizing and leading “healthy lifestyle[s]”, they must also fulfill Milton’s sports requirement, loosing valuable downtime.

While the current approach to compulsory fitness has room for improvement, these shortcomings do not call for a total dismantling of the requirement.  Sports requirements do provide an outlet for aggression and stress, an aid to maintain health, and a tight-knit communities for students to join. Milton should instead turn its attention towards explaining the rule’s significance. Perhaps courses such as Fitness Concepts could include a discussion of the athletics Milton offers and the many opportunities for exercise that exist outside of school.

If the underlying goal of the requirement is to encourage physical education and participation, being on an organized Milton team should not be the measure of a student’s adherence to these principals.

dents to explore Milton’s op- portunities, making sports just one of the many options.

Aside from the perceived socialbenefitsofparticipating in sports, athletic requirements are meant to promote a healthy lifestyle among students. Yet, simply obliging us to ful- fill a credit does not encour- age “individual students [to] make healthy life choices,” as the physical education and athletics department asserts in its course catalog descrip- tion. Students can manage teams instead of physically excersizing. Students can also participate haphazardly in

P.E. without true investment. Additionally, students who participate in sports outside of Milton almost never receive sports credit. While they are participating in physical excersizing and leading “healthy lifestyle[s]”, they must also fulfill Mil- ton’s sports requirement, loosing valuable downtime. While the current ap- proach to compulsory fitness has room for improvement, these shortcomings do not call for a total dismantling of the requirement. Sports require- mentsdoprovideanoutletfor aggression and stress, an aid to

maintain health, and a tight- knit communities for students to join. Milton should instead turn its attention towards ex- plaining the rule’s signifi- cance. Perhaps courses such as Fitness Concepts could include a discussion of the athletics Milton offers and the many opportunities for exercise that exist outside of school.

If the underlying goal of the requirement is to encourage physical education and partici- pation, being on an organized Milton team should not be the measure of a student’s adher- ence to these principals.

Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=2203

Posted by Nicole Acheampong on Nov 11 2011. Filed under More Opinion, Opinion, Recent Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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