Sports teams struggle to raise money to travel

By Jill Laviolette
Port Hardy Secondary School
Port Hardy, British Columbia

"In an ideal world, the school board should have to pay, but we're living in a world where resources are scarce so we have to fund raise," says John Martin, the Secretary treasurer of the school board.

The situation he is commenting on is whether teams should fund raise or if the school board should pay for team trips. At the beginning of each year all the sports teams are faced with the same problem of raising enough money to afford attending tournaments out of town.

"We have no choice, but to fund raise, there is no money coming from the school board," explains Veryan Wolsak, coach of the senior girls volleyball team.

So where does the money for the athletics programs come from? For every student, the school gets $41. In the draft budget of 1996/1997, PHSS got $14,427 for extra-curricular activities and $8,000 for curricular activities, a total of $22,427.

Each team gets around $400 per year for their trips, significantly less than the roughly $800 it costs for each trip. Fundraising activities during the year include car washes, bottle drive, raffles, selling Fruits of the Earth, bake sales and having a table at Christmas bazaars.

Then, there are the teams that play at provincial levels. The Senior Boys did fund raise, but that still wasn't enough when it cost close to $6,000 to go to the provincials. Since it is so expensive for a team to play at such an elite level, why isn't there a fund set aside so that they are not trying to fund raise and practice at the same time? In the future, the school plans to write a letter to the board, proposing that a fund be set aside for a team at an elite or provincial level.

Teams don't rely only on the school board for funds though, they also receive money from the students at the Port Hardy Secondary School. When they plunk their money into the vending machines in the front foyer, 70% of the money goes to the athletics department and the other 30% goes to leadership programs. The 70% from the machines covers things such as equipment, registration for tournaments and paying the referees, but none of the money is allowed to go towards the cost of travel.

Unfortunately, the athletics department is not receiving as much money as it has in past years. In previous years, it has received as much as $1,200 per month. Now we are down to as little as $200 per month due to vandalism and the cafeteria.

"Our isolation is what hurts us," said Mr. Tinney, "if all we had to do was play NISS, then our fund pot would be massive."

For a team to travel and cover the cost of a teacher, transportation, ferry cost, rentals, meals and accommodation. If the teams are paying all this money to play away games, then why aren't there more home games? It is more beneficial for students from our school to travel to other communities because they can play more than one team. But when a team comes to Port Hardy, there are only two teams that they can play.

Some teams choose to do no fundraising and pay for the travel expenses all out of their own pockets. The Junior Boys basketball team trained extremely hard and placed in the Area 3s, but talking to the players they said that they did no fundraising. However, parents of the players and coach did raise money by holding a bingo game. The students who don't have the money to pay for are still eligible to play and travel with the team. They can get their funds through the vending machines.

"I believe all teams should fundraise, so they can go where want to go," says athlete, Jonny Trirogoff.

Team uniforms are among the costs to the sports teams as well. About 3 or 4 years ago, the coaches of the basketball teams ordered new uniforms worth $5,000. So unless the teams plan to some serious fundraising, they can kiss their hopes of getting new uniforms soon goodbye.The two new soccer teams from last year put in many hours of hard work raising money for their uniforms.

"It (fundraising) is fun and it's a good experience," says team member, Selena George.

The school year is well underway now and all the sports teams and clubs have to decide what they are going to do to raise money for their activities during the season. This year, the teams are likely to face the same problem of trying to find coaches and the support they need to get the team up and running. Fundraising will always be a problem for the teams. It will be great to see how each teams does in their season and how far they go.


Get 'em while their hot! Nathan Babcock arid Leroy Ross selling what they can to raise money for the skate park. photo a corbel


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