Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

High School Cross-Country to get 30% cut at HHSAA

   

Leileihua Boys were crowned state champions Fall 2008

Leileihua Boys were crowned state champions Fall 2008

I’ve been coaching high school cross-country for over 20 years and have watched the number of participants in the sport grow by leaps and bounds.

    That is why I find it strange that at the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association meeting on Oahu there is a proposal to reduce the state tournament size (not just for cross country, but air rifle and bowling)  by 30 percent as a means of saving money.

    Last year there were nearly 200 cross-country boys and another 200 girls running in the state championship at Hawaii Prep and if the HIADA has their way they will reduce that number by 60 boys and 60 girls.

    In all the years I’ve been coaching cross-country not once has the Hawaii High School Athletic Association ever offered to pay for my runner’s air or ground transportation or for our hotel accommodations.

    My runners at Molokai, Pahoa and Waiakea High School have always had to fundraiser and then their parents had to come up with the extra monies needed to pay for the entire cost.

    Kudos to the Big Island Interscholastic Federation for voting against all state tournament reductions and for them to openly wonder whether the economic and financial reasons given for the reductions would actually help the schools, but instead would leave the athletes as the only ones that would be suffering.

   I applaud Kamehameha-Hawaii athletic director, Bob Wagner, for going on record as being opposed to the reductions by saying, “It’s just really eliminating opportunities for young people.”

   In October 2009 the HHSAA cross-country championships will be held on Kauai, but with 120 fewer runners, and fewer coaches and parents, what will be the economic impact be for that island’s visitor industry?

   (Final decision by the AD’s at HIADA, a day after I posted this story, was to cut cross-country participation at the state championships by 20 percent which still means 40 fewer boys and 40 fewer girls.)

June 13, 2009 - Posted by | Editorial | , , , , ,

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