Milton’s Sports Requirement
by Natalie Perlov on Friday, November 22nd, 2013
As students at Milton Academy, the expectations we set for ourselves are extremely high. The daily schedule of a typical Milton student consists of rigorous classes, hours of homework, club meetings all while maintaining a social life. On top of these demands, Milton also expects hours upon hours of exercise every week. While underclassmen must participate in three sports seasons, upperclassmen receive an off-season. By the end of the school day, most of us are completely worn out. How are we expected to spend two and a half hours on the field or on a court five or even six days a week? Even worse, we are expected to travel on hour-long bus rides two days each week to play one mere game. By the time athletes get home, the sun has set, dinner is sitting on our dining room tables, and a pile of homework awaits. With such extreme athletic requirements, Milton students are often unable to juggle good grades, loved ones, extracurriculars, and sleep.
While I concede that an athletic requirement is necessary for keeping students healthy, I disagree with the requirements currently in place. Josh Seol (I) believes that “Milton should have more options.” In my hometown’s public high school, students must exercise a certain number of hours each week. However, they may fulfill this requirement in a variety of ways: taking PE, playing for the high school’s sports teams, or even participating in out-of-school recreational activities. At Milton, we are simply restricted to PE, sports teams, required classes (Project Adventure and Fitness Concepts) and intramural sports, and even some of these options are governed by certain “grades.” Seniors are generally not permitted to play on JV teams, and most intramural activities are open to only upperclassmen. If Milton added more options or expanded its offerings to include more grades, students would be able to participate in athletic activities that they actually enjoy.
In addition, Milton’s policy regarding outside-of-school sports is unreasonable. If a student plays a sport outside of school, he or she can receive credit only if Milton does not offer the sport. Furthermore, this out-of-school activity will fulfill an athletic requirement for only one season. Even varsity Milton athletes cannot get credit for playing that same sport during off-seasons. This policy is ridiculous; these out-of-school sports are usually extremely intensive and are certainly keep these athletes in shape, in most cases even more so than a PE class would. By limiting our athletic pursuits, Milton is restricting our passions. An alternative solution similar to the one my hometown’s public high school should be adopted: students who play a sport outside of school can obtain a coach’s signature which will allow them to fulfill the athletic requirement.
By having such rigorous academic requirements, Milton is preventing students from focusing on their interests. Debbie Lee (I) emphasized, “Actors definitely have a tough time both participating in plays and fulfilling their sports requirements. I know students in my dorm who have major roles that take up just as much time as sports. With the addition of whatever they decide to use to fulfill the sports requirement, they are unable to devote sufficient time to their schoolwork.” Many of us already have commitments and passions that we wish to focus on. For a school that expects well-rounded students, Milton has extremely restrictive athletic requirements.
Milton’s one-size-fits-all sports requirement is time-consuming, unreasonable, and unbalanced. Most students have other priorities — academics, art, family, friends. Exercise is certainly vital to our health, but Milton needs to readjust its sports requirements in order to accommodate its many unique individuals.
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