By Crystal Earl
Like most departments and organizations within Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC), the sports department is no exception when it comes to its prestigious rank among neighboring schools. Over the years, students from freshman to senior year have brought success to the athletics department, giving GHC yet another achievement to show off. GHC’s respected sports department is responsible for a good portion of the thousands of incoming applications every year. Despite the celebrated athletics program, GHC sports teams do not receive the funding or the support they really deserve.
Regardless of what some people may believe, money is the backbone of any athletic and academic organization. Teams compete in events, require uniforms, and require transportation, all of which cost money. In other words, the sports department needs funding to be a sports department.
While the entirety of the athletics department could always use more funding. Some teams need it more than others. The school’s cross country team has one of the largest rosters on campus. With more than 70 athletes and a dwindling trust fund, the team is barely going to survive this season.
“Including money for the banquet, invitationals, and snacks, the team will need at least $5,000. There is the trust fund but it’s not enough to cover all the expenses. We have money coming out of our own pockets,” Gina Kurowski, head coach of the cross country team, said.
While the insufficient funds may be affecting the team as a whole, some athletes will be hit harder than others. With only one bus to provide transportation and a roster as full as it could possibly be, not every athlete will get to race. About 20 students will be left on campus during the Thursday meets.
“The lack of a second bus is a big deal. It will crush some kids, knowing they won’t get to run. This is by far the biggest impact,” cross country assistant coach Jim Garity said.
In order to raise money to afford the 2018 season, the team is asking for donations and doing a lot of fundraising. As it is parent and student driven, the cross country team will find a way to withstand their difficulties and have a successful season no matter what happens. However, it is much more challenging without the full financial support of the school.
“Even with not enough funding for our team, I have faith in our team that we will do well. I’m excited and nervous for what’s to come because there are so many changes this year, but I am confident that the new coaches will bring us far. Only time will tell,” junior Ouanessa Nana said.
Other teams within the athletics program are required to maintain their usual traditions of fundraising to support themselves for the season. The only notable difference would be the level of fundraising the teams are taking. Take for example the fact that members of the girls varsity soccer team were required to sell thirty Christmas trees each.
GHC’s sports teams and their student athletes should not have to take on the burden of raising funds themselves. If anything, they stand as a witness to the school’s success. By leaving the athletics department underfunded, many athletes and coaches receive an extra amount of pressure that could take away from their performance.