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Why participating in a school sport or activity should be required

Tyler+Grenier+runs+with+the+ball+during+the+game+at+MSU.
Erika Haines
Tyler Grenier runs with the ball during the game at MSU.

During high school I believe it is extremely important to be associated with some sort of sport or activity. That is why I think we should begin to mandate activities for students. Even in our small community of Livingston there are still countless sports, activities and clubs you can join. For instance I have been involved in three different sports here at Park High, including basketball, football and track. Therefore, I think moving forward we should not only encourage students to join activities but mandate them to join at least one activity a year.
With a quick google search you can easily find the benefits surrounding sports and activities. The largest benefit would be social opportunities; it is very easy to fall into the cycle of school and neglect the social aspect. However, when associated with an activity, you begin to meet people outside of your classes and people with similar interests. Similarly, activities have been proven to help students’ mental health. Activities can help to create a distraction and something to look forward to. Students who have feelings of depression could find assistance when participating in an activity. Lastly, activities help students to find themselves and challenge themselves. A lot of students become complacent in life and never look to try something new or try something hard. However, when participating in an activity they will find themselves in uncomfortable situations often which can push them to be their best self.
Despite all the benefits of activities, not everyone will always find a group that fits them. Some students would feel out of place if they were forced into an activity. While this may be a problem, I believe they should keep trying to find a group that fits them. If this does not work, I suggest they create their own group or club that is important to them and invite others to join.
In conclusion, sports, clubs and activities are becoming less and less popular in schools. Research from the Washington Post proves this by saying, “ sports — including soccer, baseball, basketball and outdoor track and field — saw slight drops in participation rate from 2018-19 to 2022-23. But viewed from a wider lens, high school football is in steep, steady decline.” I believe we should fight to keep activities alive by making at least one activity a year mandatory. There is such a broad spectrum of activities students can join, I believe there should be no reason for students not to be involved.

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About the Contributor
Erika Haines
Erika Haines, Editor
Hello! My name is Erika Haines and I am a senior at Park High School. I have played Varsity Softball for the past three years of high school and was voted co-captain in 2023. I have also participated in Speech, Drama, and Debate for the past two years. I took fourth place at Divisionals in Original Oratory in 2023 and have qualified for state both years. I am an active member of National Honors Society too. I have interests in photography and sports media. This fall I have the honor to be media personnel at Montana State University football games. This opportunity, along with being on the Geyser staff, gives me the chance to explore the field of journalism. My father, Kevin Haines, was also a part of the Geyser staff back when he was in High School. He was a layout editor in 1985-1986. It is a pleasure to be able to continue something my father worked on all those years ago.  

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