By Lizaveta Slinko ’17
Student athletes are expected to dedicate their strength, determination, and time to their sport. But beyond intense workouts and tough schedules lies an aspect of financial responsibility, which includes the various payments players have to complete in order to participate. Whether they need to buy new uniforms or game equipment, the costs can get pretty pricey.
In order to help alleviate such burdens, the school distributes funding amongst teams through allotments. Is the current budget system fair?
“Team funding may not be fair in terms of the money not being split evenly between all teams,” said soccer player Salma Ali ’17. “But anything that comes in is always beneficial and used to help the team pay for sports attire and equipment.”
Generally, whatever money teams manage to scrape together is concentrated towards uniforms and bus fees.
Ali said, “Each year it differs based on our needs; for example last year the soccer team had to use the money we received from the school to pay for new soccer goals.”
However, school funds usually fall short in covering all necessary costs, leading students to seek alternative methods of raising money and resorting to using old equipment.
“Our nets are tearing and wearing. We have to fasten the mats with tape,” said volleyball player Daniris Ryan ’18. “It’s an unattractive sight. We need more funding to have functional equipment.”
Nevertheless, according to Comptroller Nozima Omonullaeva ’16, the budget is carefully coordinated to the needs of each team and does its best to meet them.
“Yes, it’s fair,” said Omonullaeva, “we’re so limited in how much money we’re given, and we need to figure out how to evenly split it.”
“For example, the track team gets $1,650 because it consists of three seasons and each of these seasons gets $550. But a team like the wrestling team which only has one season is given $550 in total,” she said.
The DOE gives schools a certain amount of money based on their ratios of privileged and underprivileged kids. In Midwood’s case, there is a greater proportion of privileged kids, which decreases our funding percentage from 100% to 87.5%.
Omonullaeva said, “Because teams don’t get full funding, they need to make money in other ways.” Some methods include selling snacks or holding fundraising events.
Each athlete sells snacks in school that raise money that comes back to the athletes in different ways; athletes can receive gear to represent the school, pay for invitational competitions, buses, and equipment.
A student must be able to sell several packs of snacks in order to raise enough money for one uniform. Prices can range from $25 to $40.
Apart from fees owed for uniforms and events, many sports also require an initial payment from students before the beginning of a season.
Volleyball players, for example, contribute $150 at the beginning of the season.
Some may wonder whether participating in a sport is worth it. The costs can be high, and the responsibility can be a burden.
According to Ryan, students should take on a sport despite the costs.
“To me, the benefits outweigh the costs. It’s worth it; you’ll form bonds with your teammates and feel yourself become a part of something bigger. Plus, there are many health benefits,” Ryan explained.
Ali agrees, “Being on a sport is definitely worth it despite the costs because it keeps you well rounded as a student. It motivates you to work harder in school and benefits students in the long run.”