I had a few calls this week from readers wanting to know why we sometimes list high school sports that are quite uncommon. One person said, “flag football and (Ultimate) Frisbee scores are a waste of space in the paper.” This person wanted more stories on football. He is entitled to his opinion.
The facts: teenagers are playing more sports than the more common ones we grew up with all those years.
Turns out that the various Boards of Education in the Greater Toronto Area talk a good talk about getting young people active. Doesn’t matter what sport, as one Toronto District School Board educator told me, just get the kids playing and in shape.
I was curious about how many students actually play school sports. The last story we wrote, just over 250,000 in Ontario. I took a quick look at the Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Association website to check on their annual participation lists but was disappointed to learn that the provincial association statistics are badly out of date.
Either that, or they just haven’t posted the information.
Then, I glanced through the various sports. There’s football and basketball, hockey and baseball, soccer and volleyball. The list goes on.
And, while not a provincial playoff, high school students are also involved in archery, which is big in Peel Region, and bowling in Durham Region. Add things like rock climbing in York Region, Dragon Boat racing in Toronto and even sports like fencing and mountain bike racing.
Wonder what’s next?
How about rodeo – and winning money instead of medals?
Why not? It works in Oklahoma. We have equestrian at some of the private schools.
Check out the video – high school rodeo in Oklahoma. Yes, financial awards too.