Barriere Secondary students faced with financial barrier to athletic programs

letter to the editor submitted by PAC member Kathy Karlstrom - financial barrier

To the editor;

Beginning September 2013, Barriere Secondary students will be facing a substantial extra curricular athletic program fee increase.  The school board will no longer run the athletics program at a deficit.  In order to cover the financial costs, student fees will have to increase by as much as 150 per cent.

Barriere Secondary athletic director, Ashley Shannik, is proposing that Barriere athletic fees be increased to match the fees paid by Chase and Clearwater Secondary Schools.  It is fully recognized that this fee is substantial and will create hardship for many families, especially if they have more than one child participating in possibly more than one sport.

Barriere Secondary’s entire student body is 164 students.  Of this number, this school year 87 students participated in the school athletic programs, and 44 students participated in more than one athletic season.

At present, there are no funds for:

1) Replacement of, or purchase of, new equipment (balls, nets, pads, training equipment),

2) New uniforms (ideally replaced on a five year cycle),

3) Coaches appreciation awards (11 different coaches to date, seven are community members,four coaches are teaching staff),

4)Athletic awards (engraving, upkeep, host tournament awards)

5) Coaches certification, upgrading, or clinics

6) Athletic banquet incidentals (plates, cutlery, décor, etc.)

Given these extraordinary times, with respect to the epidemic in childhood obesity, we must do everything in our power to support students with physical fitness and well-being.

To assist in ensuring the fitness of our students the Barriere Secondary Parent Advisory Council has pledged their support, by donating $800 dollars to cover the membership costs of registering our school teams with BC High School Sports.

These fees are mandatory for school teams participation in zone league games.

There will also be future discussion about PAC contribution to the “Hardship Fund”, which is a fund to help support students whose families would not otherwise be able to afford their child participating in extra curricular athletics.

We would appreciate any fund raising suggestions or thoughts that you may have that could assist us to keep our school teams and athletes functioning and participating.

Please email the Barriere Secondary Parent Advisory Council at gardensgate540@gmail.com or the school athletic director at ashannik@sd73.bc.ca with any ideas you have to assist our school athletic program.

Submitted by PAC member

Kathy Karlstrom