I would like to address the issue of middle school sports. I recently learned that the Columbia County middle school golf and tennis teams were to be abolished, due to lack of competition between the schools. Golf and tennis are very polished sports, and the students who play these sports should be applauded.
My brother is a high honors academic student at Riverside Middle and an achieved member of the Riverside Middle School tennis team. By eliminating these sports, the school system is depriving these students of the opportunity to participate in extracurricular sporting competition.
The students who participate in these particular sports are unlikely to be able to qualify to play the more popular sports of football, basketball or baseball. These programs allow them to compete for their school in the sporting arena and gain the pride and honor of their school and other classmates. This is important for students in middle school trying to grow from children to young adults. As a high school swimmer, I know the respect that comes from competing for my school. Why should these students be denied that opportunity?
How should I explain to my brother that he can no longer "letter" in sports, because the other area schools don't have the teams to challenge Riverside Middle School? Sports are good physically and help students to gain confidence in themselves, which is more and more necessary to handle situations that are presented in our society today.
The school system should consider the number of students who will no longer be athletically active in our schools. Our family wholeheartedly supports tennis and golf in the middle schools as an important part of the learning curriculum.
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