Out of School Sports Credits

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Maddy Gleason, Reporter

It’s no surprise that some of the most talented athletes in the state live in Durango where sports are the center of attention. Olympic-bound mountain bikers and elite trophy-winning dancers walk through the halls of Durango High School every day. These individuals put so much effort into both athletics and academics.

But how is it fair that these amazing athletes have a process to obtain PE credit for working so hard? Out of school sports deserve credit too – dancers, bikers, hockey players, and more.

Sophomore Maddie Jo Robbins participates in biking during the school year, which she doesn’t get credit for. She also runs cross country and skis for DHS. If the sports program recognized how hard she works, she would obtain four credits by the time she completed sophomore year.

“I wish the sports program would be more open minded. I think I should get the same credit as CHSAA sports, and we should be acknowledged the same way. They can be really helpful, but it would be great to get credit, ” said Robbins.

Robbins doesn’t slack off in any sport either. During the biking season, she won all five varsity girls competitions as a sophomore.

So. Cobe Freeburn also does biking as a club sport, and doesn’t receive any credit for that. Freeburn bikes about nine hours a week and still maintains a 4.0 GPA.

“I think the sports program as a whole is fine, but it seems to only benefit school sports, not sports that aren’t through DHS,” said Freeburn.

Freeburn and other athletes miss a lot of school for these sports, and they come back from the competitions with lots of work and tests to make up. Missing a thursday and a friday can lead to a huge load of extra homework. Add another sentence here.

“We work so hard and miss school for these sports, and the school can’t find a way to accommodate us and our credits into our transcripts,” said Freeburn.

However, it’s out of the school’s control. Adam Bright, DHS athletic is aware of these strong opinions the students possess.

“Mountain biking isn’t a CHSAA sport so we can’t sanction it anyway, and we’re underneath CHSAA so if CHSAA doesn’t have it, we don’t offer it. But they can still get credit if they follow what counseling tells them to do,” said Bright.

It’s debateable whether theses student athletes should have to take a fitness class to be able to acquire credit for their transcript.

“I’d still like to see where they have to take a number of PE courses too, and I think doing this it’s kind of hurting the PE department. There’s valuable lessons to be learned by physical education classes,  so I’d like to see some sort of accommodation for PE courses, as well as participating in a sport,” said Bright.

Robert Aspen, Academic Advisor, facilitates credit for student’s transcripts.

“I am on both sides, I do understand that it seems kind of ridiculous for someone who’s working out 3 to 4 hours a day, whether it be nordic skiing, or gymnastics, to feel like they’re required to take a PE class and get that,  but I also understand the administration’s decision to streamline that process and keep it in house for those credits,” said Aspen.

Despite attempts to include all activities, it all relies on the CHSAA organization and the ability of the school district to accommodate them.

“Mr. Bright is doing a great job of adding new programs, but if it’s not chsaa, it doesn’t fall under the domain of the sports program,” said Aspen

“We’re sanctioned by CHSAA, and we pay to be a part of it, so we fall underneath their umbrella. So if it’s not part of their program, then that’s where we draw the line. And we’re a part of that organization, so if they don’t offer it, we won’t either,” said Bright.

Despite the efforts to redeem credit for non-CHSAA athletes, it all comes down to CHSAA’ ability to include students in the sports program, and whether or not they fall under the umbrella. Although it is a seemingly long process, many students wonder: is the payoff even worth it?