School sports teams should count as P.E. credit

Luke Jordan, Opinion Editor

There is nothing worse than being sweaty after a strenuous workout in your gym period, and then going to your next class. The stench of your pits spreads throughout the room, despite the fact you’ve most likely applied deodorant. You probably don’t have time to hit the showers, so your shirt clings to your sticky back and you’re stuck living this damp and uncomfortable fate.

This is all done to appease the county’s one gym credit requirement, despite the fact that most students are active regardless. There are a plethora of sports students could participate in – football, soccer, hockey, volleyball, bocce – the list goes on. Despite what the county is lead to believe, school sports are important in students’ lives.

What the county requires from students is activity, but students’ output is far from what the county expects it to be. Given 35 minutes outside of the locker rooms, it would be assumed that students would be burning calories for nearly the whole period, but that’s not what actually goes on. According to the Kansas Health Institute, “High school students are active for less than three quarters of a physical education class period.”

Participation in gym classes declines once students get to high school, most likely due to the activities becoming more mundane. Going from a fun game of dodgeball to weight lifting for 35 minutes is a significant downgrade, and gives students less of a reason to care about the period. If gym credits counted for something students were truly passionate about, it would give students a reason to put more effort into their physical well-being.

If students didn’t care about exercise, they wouldn’t play school sports, but students choose to do so anyway because they value their physical health as much as their mental and emotional health. It is a major component of a healthy lifestyle. By letting students have the option to choose a sport that interests them count toward their gym credit, it will only further encourage students to get active.

In elementary school, gym class used to be one of the best parts of the day. Nothing was better than going down to the gym and playing some fun games that the gym teachers created. As more time went on and students got to middle school, gym class got less and less fun, becoming a chore rather than something you wanted to do. Now with the option to choose a sport that interests you, it’s much easier to find physical activity fulfilling rather than dreadful. “I think that’s a good idea, people already play sports so it makes sense,” sophomore Samantha Keller said.

While some students don’t play sports and would find it difficult to join a team in fear of being way behind everyone else in skill level, there are plenty of sports, like cross country and ice hockey, with no tryouts and a feeling of community that you can’t find in any gym class. To encourage students to get active and do more extracurriculars, school sports should be able to fulfill the gym credit requirement.