More than Sports………


It can be summarized as easy as ‘practice and play’. But sports are so much more than that.

The impact that sports has on a student athlete goes deeper than the physical aspect of competing. The efforts of team building around a common goal fosters the skills of creating healthy relationships. We also must be aware of the social and emotional learning that comes along with being a part of a sports’ team or any extracurricular activity (athletic or non-athletic). The stress that many of our children endure daily can be released through participating in a positive activity.

We also have to recognize the underlying motivation which influences a child to strive to be better within their school environment and community. This indirect effect, which comes from participation, is a critical reason why there needs to be a consistent effort to fund and support opportunities of sports and other extracurricular activities.

So what does this mean for a student athlete, a family, a neighborhood, a school district, a City? What role do each of these stakeholders play in building a robust atmosphere of care, positivity, skills building, social and emotional supports, and physical conditioning mixed with a bit of competition?

As a Commissioner on the school board, I have been working diligently with the Rochester City School District’s athletic department leadership and superintendent to continue in efforts of strengthening and expanding the scope of extracurricular activities within the district. This entails:

1. Reviewing funding allocation to see how advocacy might be needed for adequate support.
2. A request for tracking the academic outcomes of students who participate in any extracurricular activity so that we have data to support the need for continued and expansion of these opportunities for our students.
3. A request to create a District-wide Sporting Events Calendar to strengthen communication between the district and the community so that it is easier for anyone to find the details of RCSD sporting events. The day-to-day schedule of events can be found by visiting the RCSD website at . Then scroll down towards the bottom of the page to click on the link labeled RCAC District-wide Sporting Events Calendar.

Take some time to think about how you can help with promoting and supporting our young people in this area. Whether it is attending a game, donating time or money, or sharing information about activities.

No role is too small and think about the significant positive impact extracurricular activities have that helps shape our young people into productive members of our community.

Natalie Sheppard

Commissioner of Schools, RCSD

*Stay Tune for updates of the time and date in the upcoming days that Natalie will be discussing this article and taking your questions on Southwest Tribune's Facebook social media page.
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