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Renton High Schools Reinstate C-Team Basketball Programs

"The research is clear; athletics is one of the best ways to keep kids engaged in school," says Will Niccolls, executive director of Sports in Schools.

Sports in Schools has donated $15,000 to help Renton School District reinstate C-team basketball programs at all three high schools. C-teams provide athletic opportunities for high school freshmen and sophomores who aren't ready to compete at the junior-varsity or varsity level.

District C-team sports were cut in 2009 as one of many reductions to balance the district budget without cutting teaching positions. The Sports in Schools funding—which is the largest donation the organization has made to any school district—will provide half of the $30,000 needed for coaches, transportation and officiating costs to reinstate six boys and girls basketball C-team programs this school year. The district will review budget considerations for creating other C-teams in future years.

Sports in Schools, based in West Seattle, works to help fund school sports programs sanctioned by the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) to ensure all students have the chance to play sports and to stay connected to school through sports.

The organization points to research that shows that students in sports have higher GPAs, better attendance and lower dropout rates, and that the advantages of having kids on athletic teams is a great way to have students connect to their school.

"Connecting kids to their schools is so important," says Will Niccolls, executive director of Sports in Schools. "The research is clear that athletics is one of the best ways to keep kids engaged in school, give kids a chance to do something positive after school, and to provide kids healthy connections to their peers."

Sports in Schools is a non-organization funded by a few corporate partners and citizen donations.

*Editor's Note: Information for this story was provided in a Renton School District press release.

MrMyke December 05, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Just great news. The cuts were so shortsighted. No cuts to school budgets are easy, and none are free of impact, but in terms of pure bang for the buck, it is hard to imagine $15K better spent that with a C team program. C teams allow kids to play who aren't the year-round individual sport types but who just want to play after school with their friends and compete to represent their school -- in front of more of their friends. And that's how the expense benefits more than just the 10 or 12 players on each team. Even if it only covered that number it would be worth it, but the impact goes well beyond that. Finally, remember there is a real chance that any C team player will improve their skills enough to move ahead in future years, thus further justifying the funding. If a student gets cut as a freshman they could easily be counted out for the rest of their career, but a C team spots allows that player to keep practicing and keep improving. The often continues even in the offseason when a student has hope for the future in a sport. See how that $15K is really seed money with a rippling effect that makes it felt far beyond just a few months for a few students. Great job Sports in Schools and RSD -- please keep it up. Hopefully this will be repeated next year, with District money if necessary, AND the Kent schools will reinstate their C programs.

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