Students’ Outside Sports Live On

Cassandra Ratzlaff, Junior Editor

Last year, in order to earn an ODA sports credit, you could either be a part of an ODA sport or an outside one. In Orientation this year, Brett Timmons, ODA’s new Athletic Director,  announced that every student will now be required to participate in an ODA sport to help promote wellness and physical conditioning. Now, not everyone here is a superstar athlete, so what is the non-athlete to do? Luckily, Coach Timmons has an answer: rather than participating in a sport, a student can take pictures or videos of the game, or dress up like our mascot, Thor.

A few people, including me, are involved in outside sports that promote physical  conditioning and are time consuming.  We became flustered, as we didn’t know if we’d have time for another sport.  To clarify things for those who participate in an outside sport, these outside sports are okay! You can speak with Mr. Timmons about your sport and he will gladly accept it as a credit.

Thanks to Ellie Kimmell, junior, this point was clarified.  After hearing Coach Timmons’ speech about sports credits, she immediately spoke to him about her dilemma. She told him that she is a competitive horseback rider and is very involved in her sport. It was her parents’ idea to bring her into the world of horseback riding ten years ago. Since then she has fallen in love with the sport and the animals she works with. She practices for her competitions, that occur two to three times a month, six days a week. Her devotion to the sport has resulted in many wins nationally. Her greatest achievement thus far was placing fourth out of 81 competitors at last year’s nationals; she hopes to one day win. In order for Ellie to pursue her dream, she must continue her routines and not get involved in an ODA sport. Thanks to the school’s flexibility,  she will be able to ride competitivley for credit.

For Francesca Perrone, junior, this “new” change became a problem because of her two independent sports: yoga and kung-fu. She started yoga one year ago to connect with her spirituality. She then found that it helped her flexibility and her back scoliosis immensely. Since this realization, she has been taking yoga classes four times a week each ranging from one hour to an hour and a half. Two years ago, she started kung-fu: an ancient Chinese method of self-defense. She said that by taking up the practice of kung-fu she feels power and knows that she can defend herself if needed. She knows her years of practice can come in handy if and when she “has to punch a few people.” Her goal is to move up to the black belt status. At the moment, she is a green belt and has seven more belts to surpass before she obtains that title. These activities take up so much of her time that she won’t have any time to start up an ODA sport. Each week she plans out her days to balance out her sports and school work. Luckily, tshe can continue her daily schedules knowing they count towards her sports requirement.

As it says in my staff bio, I am an Irish Dance Champion and have been dancing for twelve years. I am very passionate about my dancing and very serious about what I do. I compete regionally almost each month. This requires a lot of time and practice at the studio and at home. For five days a week, I practice at the studio for two hours. Two days of which I teach beginners for an additional hour and a half as a teachers assistant. The days I am not at the studio, I am at home practicing and exercising for as long as I can. When I heard of the “changed” rule, I panicked and didn’t know what to do. Irish dancing has been part of my life for so long and I didn’t want to lose any of it. I was ready to sign up for the track team, as it would help my stamina, but it would still mean that I would have to miss dance class each week. I am so glad that this rule was made clear and I can continue with my dancing as I do.

Thanks to this clarification, Ellie, Franscesca, me, and others who are involved in outside sports can continue their sports knowing that they will count as an ODA sports credit.