The Athletic Banquet
As the school year winds down, at some point there will be an athletic awards banquet or ceremony. It will be well attended and very long.
Despite numerous attempts to curtail coaches’ speeches, it’s hard for coaches not to give in to the temptation of reviewing every goal, every win, every heart-breaking loss. Parents and student athletes who attend these functions don’t mind when the coaches are talking about their own kids’ teams. They begin to chatter and fuss when the coach is reviewing some other team’s season. Occasionally the coach will show a video snippet of a play-off win on a big screen TV set up for the occasion.
I worked hard to ensure that boys and girls got equal time during the athletic awards ceremony, but I wasn’t always successful. And it wasn’t always the boys who got more time; it depended on which teams had better seasons.
In the end everyone went home happy with his or her certificate, trophy, or school letter. Letter jackets in my area are a thing of the past, but many schools still award the tightly stitched capitals or school logos representing the district. I’m not sure what kids actually do with them anymore, and they’re not cheap. But they still want them.
I’m a strong believer in school athletics, as I’ve noted many times on this blog. In tough budget times someone always wants to curtail the athletic program. It’s probably less than 3% of the total budget and it’s worth every penny. It’s even worth sitting through the athletic banquet.