School sports have been an integral part of high school as a way to maintain school spirit, foster friendships, and improve activity on campus. For many years, gymnastics has been offered to students at Washington High School as a spring sport. Washington’s Gymnastics Team had been to many competitions and competed in many different activities. However, as of 2019, the team has been disbanded due to district budget cuts and increased concerned of the sport’s safety.
The safety of gymnastics had been questioned for a long time with routines that involve contouring the body in dangerous ways. In addition, there are many events such as uneven bars, vault, and balance beam. Each of these events have added risks like falling off the thin, narrow balance beam or losing your grip on the uneven bars. Such a high impact sport is very intricate and one mistake can lead to serious injuries. Lauren Thorpe, a senior and former gymnastics member, added that “since gymnastics has a lot to do with flipping in the air and being on elevated platforms there are lots of risks like landing on your head or getting lost on the air when flipping.” Falling down with force can lead to sprains or broken bones which can alter growth, especially in children.
The district has also been dealing with high budget cuts. In order to allocate the money properly, a smaller portion of the money was given to gymnastics. With a smaller budget, the school team was faced with the reality of not having enough money to continue. This lead to the unfortunate realization that there was not enough money to replace some of the gymnastics equipment which meant that there was no way the sport could continue for the 2019-2020 season.
Despite the reasoning, Washington gymnastics team’s original members have been discouraged by the decision to end the sport. “I was upset,” began senior Yvonne Daskaloff, “since gymnastics was the only school sport I was doing.” The decision to disband the gymnastics team comes the end of many of the traditions student athletes look forward to like Senior Night, where graduating students are recognized for their efforts over the years. To this, Daskaloff stated “..I have been looking forward to senior night but now we don’t get one.” In response to the decision, many of the former members have turned to other activities to stay busy. Thorpe says, “Instead of gymnastics I am still doing my other two sports in the other seasons and gymnastics not being there also gave me more time to focus on my grades.”
This staff reporter graduated in 2020. Anshi Vora is a senior at Washington High School. She grew up in Fremont, California. This is her first year working for the Hatchet. Anshi enjoys writing for a variety of articles in different subjects. In her free time, Anshi likes reading and watching TV. She hopes to major in computer science in college.