Crossing borders: Manitou students travel out of district to compete in sports

Kieran Lynch, Writer

Manitou Springs has 14 different sports teams: six girls, six boys and two co-ed. This is compared to larger schools like Cheyenne Mountain, which has 23 different teams.

Because we offer fewer teams, every year there are Manitou High students who find that they must go to other schools to do sports not offered at our school. If a student has an interest in a sport that Manitou does not offer they have the option to go to a school that offers that sport. The rules on this are that if a student is interested in a sport that their school doesn’t offer they are allowed to go to a district with continuous boundaries to your own. This means that Manitou kids have the option to go to districts 11, 12 (Cheyenne Mountain) and Woodland Park. Some of the more popular sports that Manitou doesn’t offer are boys’ swimming, lacrosse, tennis, softball, and hockey.

A common misconception is that the reason Manitou doesn’t have a boys’ swim team, and other missing sports, is because of Title IX. Title IX is the law that says schools cannot spend more money and have a larger focus on boys’ sports than girls’. When Mr. McGee, the head of athletics at Manitou, was asked to elaborate on the process of adding a sport. He said that even though funding is an issue in adding a sport, the main reason many sports haven’t been added is because of interest and number of participants.

By law, schools are required to have approximately the same amount of participants for both genders. So if a boys’ sport is added it is most likely that they will have to add a girls’ sport. Mr. McGee said that the number of sports isn’t necessarily relevant, its all about the number of participants. Many of those who do sports feel as if it is an injustice that the sport they are interested is not offered, or they feel as if the school does not care. But Mr. McGee explained that the reason sports aren’t frequently added is not because of a lack of interest on the part of the staff but a lack of interest amongst the student body.

However, those who participate in sports at other schools seem much more positive about the matter. When asked if they enjoy their sport at another school all of the athletes responded extremely positively.

“At first I wished that Manitou had a team for me but once I got into the season I was much happier than I anticipated. Now I think I’m much happier being a part of another schools team. I’ve always though that those who do sports at other schools should get a little more recognition though,” said sophomore Marley Kaiser, who participates in boys’ swim at Coronado.

Junior Greg Shaw also shared this sentiment. “Its a really great experience being able to be a part of another social group and being able to meet people that you wouldn’t necessarily meet otherwise,” he said.