It is always nice to get good news out of a local school board meeting and recently the Adams County/Ohio Valley Board made a decision that was good news for the county’s athletic departments and athletes. After three years, the board decided to eliminate the “Pay to Participate” fees, which in theory should allow more young athletes to take part in sports without the worry of finding the money for the fees.
“The Pay to Participate fees and elimination of some activities were done in response to the financial concerns of the district,” said ACOVSD Superintendent Rodney Wallace. “As the finances have improved, the board is returning the opportunities for students to participate in extra-curricular and athletic activities. With the elimination of these fees, I expect participation to increase and hope it encourages more students to participate.”
Local athletic directors were also excited to hear of the board’s recent decision.
“The elimination of the pay to participate fees will hopefully have a great impact in terms of multi-sport participation of our student athletes,” said North Adams Athletic Director Tony Williams. “Over the past three years, several of our student-athletes had to make decisions on which sport to play due to the costs. With the fees gone, it is our hope that we will see increased numbers across the entire athletic program. I greatly appreciate everyone’s involvement in the decision to eliminate these fees.”
In the past three years, West Union High School has seemed to be hard hit by the fees, having a tough time with numbers in a variety of sports. Already, the possible benefits to the fee elimination might be seen in the girls’ soccer team, which fielded a roster of 17 girls for last weekend’s Southern Hills Athletic Conference soccer preview.
“Waiving the pay to participate fees is great for our parents, athletes, and coaches,” said West Union Co-Athletic Director Jason Little. “Hopefully those kids who really couldn’t afford to pay will return to our athletic programs and those programs will get back to the numbers they had before the fees were instituted.”
Another board decision will bring back the freshman basketball teams at the three high schools. Freshman basketball squads had been another casualty of the previous budget cuts.