Starting a Sports Program at a Newly Built High School
The new high school which has been opened in the region is in dire need of a sports program. In the creation and implementation of the needed sports program, a multitude of elements have to be addressed. At a most primary level, logistics considerations have to be resolved, such as the location of the sports center or the equipments it will integrate. Secondly, it would be important to identify the staffing needs for the sports program and to pin point to the specific employees which are required.
The modern day society is market by a dynamic rate of evolution and rapid change. In this context, people are continually under pressure, work long hours and do not have time to cook proper meals or to exercise any more. The direct result is the sky rocking in the incidence of blood pressure and heart condition diseases. This social circumstance raises the need for more intense sports activities. In other words, the following dimension to be assessed is that of appealing to the target audience.
Aside the target audience, logistics and staffing, other aspects to be addressed include: safety issues, the sports to be practiced, the teams to be formed, or the budget necessary to ensure the adequate opening and functioning of the sports programs. Before detailing these dimensions, it is important to understand the role of sports within the educational community.
2. Sports in high schools
Mark Conrad argues that educational institutions promote sports programs and often inter-schools competitions as a means of enhancing their own reputation. This act is based on the belief that a strong sports program within the educational institution would generate a series of benefits for the respective school. At a first level, the benefit arises when the school team wins the sports match / competition. The sense of victory generates high morale levels among the students and the teachers and motivates them to achieve higher performances; this often materializes in enhanced academic results.
Aside morale and results, the benefits from owning a strong sports program also have an economic side, such as sponsorships, reputation and increased demand. “Success often translates into increased donations by alumni. Also, success leads to the branding of the schools as a top competitor to a potentially nationwide audience. National attention tends to raise awareness of a school’s programs and expands the pool of potential applicants” (Conrad, 2006).
Another benefit of sports in schools is that of offering students the ability to access scholarships and go to colleges. In other words, the sports program is not only important for the educational institution itself, but also for the students’ future. A high school with a strong sports program attracts both talent scouts as well as university representatives, meaning as such that it will also attract students. Yet, in order for a student to be able to play in the teams, it is necessary for them to meet minimum academic requirements. These requirements were only introduced starting with the second half of the 1980s decade; before that, it was believed that academic requirements were unfair and disadvantages the youth. However, the members of the high school sports teams came to neglect their studies. Today, minimal academic requirements are implemented in schools, but their specifics differ from one state, or even city, to the other (Delaney and Madigan, 2009).
3. The target audience
The sports program at the newly built high school targets primarily the students at the respective educational facility. These students would be presented with opportunities to practice sports both as amateurs as well as in their preparation as professionals. Sports programs designed for the high school’s students and offered during school hours constitute the primary function of the center.
Aside this primary function however, the sports center would also play the role of host for sports competitions at the local level. These competitions could refer to sports matches between teams at various high schools as well as competitions organized by the city hall and hosted by the school, such as an athletic competition between the political personalities of the area, with a charitable purpose. Additionally, it would be possible for the city hall and other local organizations to host their events in the sports center as long as they pay a specific fee and the respective event does not interfere with the regular activities within the sports center.
This virtually means that the second audience targeted by the high school’s sports program is constituted by the entire community which can organize various events within the premises. The address of this secondary target audience is constructed on the financial dimension of actions in the meaning that the center would be rented for the organization of events and that this decision would generate additional revenues for the sports center. The money would traditionally be used into the development of the high school, including the sports center, but also other components, such as laboratories, cafeteria and so on.
The sports program would develop on the school property, within three specific locations. The first location would be constituted by an outside track created especially for athletics. The second facility would be constituted by an outside field which would be adjusted to the specific needs of the match, such as soccer, volley, baseball and so on. The third facility would be constituted by an inside field, which, similar to the outside field, would serve multiple destinations, based on specific event requirements. As an extrapolation of their sports related destination, the outside field could be used for local events, whereas the indoor field could be used for school related activities, such as prom parties.
In terms of actual transportation, this refers to two distinctive elements — the transportation of the equipments and the transportation of the teams. Relative to the equipments, these refer specifically to the lockers, the showers, the baseball baskets and the rest of the elements required to complete a sports center. These would only be transported once, from the store to the school, and the transportation services would be offered by the purveyor. Relative to the transport of the teams, this would be ensured by each individual high school. Third, relative to the transport of the persons attending local events on school property, this would be ensured by the party subcontracting the sports field.
5. Safety issues
While it cannot be said of any human activity that it lacks in risks, sports is one of the activities which poses higher degrees of risks. And these risk increase in the educational context, in which few adults supervise many youths. In order to reduce the risks of injuries through sports activities, the following regulations should be respected:
Construction of the facilities under the various architectural regulations and by ensuring building stability and conformity with the required standards
Offer students the proper equipments and make them wear it in order to protect themselves — helmets, elbow caps, knee caps, protective cups and so on Another element is that of ensuring that the students complete their warm up and stretches before the actual sports activity in order to avoid the risk of injury
It is also important for the coach to keep injured players on the bench. Regardless of the player’s ability to salvage a difficult situation on the field, if he risks causing more damage to himself he should be kept on the bench
In case of injury, it is important for the school to provide immediate medical assistance. The school medic should also consult with the student and avoid any risk of addiction to medicines
Enforcing strong rules for each game and ensuring that the rules are understood and respected by all players (Teens Health, 2010).
6. The sports
The sports program at the newly built high school would focus on the offering of several sports, as follows:
The wide selection sports make it possible for the youth to capitalize on the facility regardless of season. Aside these sports offered, the sports managers are also making intense pressures to the school head to support the construction of an indoor swimming pool. For now however, this project is not a priority and funds have not yet been allocated in this direction.
7. The teams
Forming the teams would be one of the most challenging tasks. At the initial stage, each high school student would be encouraged to pick whatever sport he has practiced before or whichever he feels most confident about. Teams would be formed by dividing these students and letting them pay the respective sports they selected.
At a secondary level, the teams would be reshaped by the interest and expertise of the coach in the meaning that he would observe which of the players has a talent for the respective sport and which does not. The coach would place the more talented students in team leading positions.
In a situation in which the coach observes that a student possesses features which would make him more suitable for another sport than the one he has selected, he would inform the student of his observation and would support him in switching teams.
The sports center at the newly opened high school has to employ at least the following:
Two coaches, preferably one male and one female, each to manage the same gender teams. This measure is to be implemented in order to reduce the chances of immoral conduct on school premises, but no discriminations would be committed during the selection and hiring processes.
One medic is required to be easily reachable and assist sports injuries or otherwise medical necessities. Hiring a new medical professional would be redundant and meaningless, coming as such to a conclusion that the already hired school medic would also assist the medical needs of the sports center.
One counselor. Similar to the school medic, it could initially be stated that the role of sports counselor would be played by the already hired school counselor. However, such a solution is not the most viable one in the given circumstances. A sports counselor can help students prioritize and identify their sports talents, or they can help them apply to schools which offer sports scholarships. Given however that the services of the counselor would not be required on daily basis, it would as such be advisable to hire him on part time basis.
Finally, the last employee needed in the sports center is the janitor. Given the specific needs of the sports center, as well as its triple location, it is necessary that a new cleaning person be hired.
All the staff members would be selected and hired from the local community. It will be of the utmost importance for them to possess sufficient skills and expertise in working within the educational sector and with teenage students. Aside technical skills, it will be crucial for the candidates to possess and live by high moral values they can transmit to the students.
9. Culture, code of conduct
At an overall level, the sports center would be defined by an open and fair culture, which integrates all those interested in sports. The sole criteria in decision making will be related to sports and never to race, religious appurtenance, political appurtenance or other discriminatory criteria. The program will emphasize on team and personal development, on fairness and friendly competition. At a more specific level, the following rules will have to be obeyed:
Coaches are obliged to treat all team members equitably and sensitively
The coaches are primarily concerned with the well being of the team members
Coaches are expected to clearly communicate with the team members the performance goals, train sessions needed and other sports related components of the relationship
Coaches cooperate with other sports personalities to safeguard and promote the well-being of the students
Coaches are integer and encourage team members to respect the rules
The coaches will not abuse their power or privilege over the team members, and last
Within their possibility, coaches will ensure the safety of the team members (Mac, 2010).
In terms of team members, these are expected to:
Enhance their efforts to develop from the sports standpoint
Strive for the best performance even in unfriendly conditions
Set a positive example
Avoid gamesmanship and procrastination
Follow the best interest of the game and the team, and finally
Not use substances, immoral behavior or inadequate language (Tottenham Hotspur Ladies Football Club).
10. Appeal to the target market
Generally, the attraction of the youth towards sports activities should not be understood in terms of a necessity, but an implied element given precisely by the nature of the activity. Today however, the youth are more and more attracted to other leisure activities — such as hanging out at the mall or playing computer games or eating. Consequently, this less active life style materializes in incremental health problems for both youth as well as the more mature population. In this context, it is necessary not only to force the students to engage in sports activities, but also to help them understand the necessity for sports as well as enjoy the activities.
In order to raise the interest of the youth, the following should be taken into keen consideration:
The creation of a campaign to attract the youth
The campaign would present the joys of playing sports
The campaign would reveal the joy of interacting with the other youth, as well as the thrill of the victory
The sense of “cool” would be promoted.
The sports program would be entirely budgeted by the school, which is funded by the state budgets. This subsequently means that the funds are limited and that the sports program would have to achieve its goals within strictly imposed financial limitations. With this restriction in mind, the minimal budget requirement is of $9,000, divided as follows:
$5,000 for logistics and equipments expenses
$1,000 for safety measures implementation (including training)
$2,500 for immediate staffing needs
$500 for marketing expenses
In a highly likely context in which the school would not be able to offer these funds, it is suggested that they try to be raised through other sources, such as donations from local wealthy men or companies, or parent contributions. Their investments would be attracted by the promotion of the benefits of the sports program for the youth and the local community.
The modern day society is extremely dynamic, but a major side effect of this rapid evolution is that of increasing illnesses due to a more sedentary life style, in which sports and exercise are no longer priorities for the population. In order to reduce the mental and physical erosion which comes with such a life style, it is crucial to reintroduce the youth to the joys of sports, to the trill of competition and to the ecstasy of victory. The sports program at the newly built high school would be constructed and it would operate on these specific beliefs.
Aside the cultural and motivational side of the sports program, several material and functional dimensions need to be addressed as well. In order to complete all these functions, an estimated budget of $10,000 is expected to be required. Most of this money would be engaged in the purchase of equipments and in the construction of the three facilities — the track and the indoors and outdoors fields. A second destination would be constituted by the insurance of safety within the facilities.
Another important aspect to consider refers to the type of sports that would be offered — a variety of seasonal sports — and the formation of the teams — based on personal preferences of the students and professional input of the coaches. Aside coaches, the sports program would also provide the services of a counselor and a medic. In all circumstances and sports actions, the staff members and the students will be required to obey a strict code of conduct which ensures dignity, fairness and fair play.
The sports program would address two target audiences. The first and most important of them is constituted by the students attending the high school. The second is constituted by the entire local community which can subcontract the outside field and host its events. In order to appeal to the first audience, it will be necessary to implement a campaign focused on the enjoyable feature of sports.
Conrad, M., 2006, the business of sports: a primer for journalists, Routledge
Delaney, T., Madigan, T., 2009, the sociology of sports: an introduction, McFarland
Mac, B., 2010, Code of ethics and conduct for sports coaches, BrainMac, http://www.brianmac.co.uk/ethics.htm last accessed on July 6, 2010
2010, Sports and exercise safety, Kids Health, http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/safebasics/sport_safety.html# last accessed on July 6, 2010
Codes of Conduct, Tottenham Hotspur Ladies Football Club, http://www.spursladies.co.uk/conduct.htm last accessed on July 6, 2010
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