Urban School has lowest percentage of student-athletes of BCL-West Conference


Graph made by Jack Gallo.

Zoe Meneghetti, Staff Writer

As a school that takes prides in its athletics, one would think that Urban would have an abundance of student-athletes. The National Federation of State High School Associations believe that participation in high school sports is beneficial to students because it teaches important qualities, such as teamwork and the rewards of hard work. These qualities will eventually help the student-athlete in becoming a successful contributor to society.

Yet, according to the Urban website, only 60 percent of Urban students participate in sports, the least of any school in the BCL-West conference, noting that each of these schools are comparably similar in size. According to their websites, University, Lick, Bay, and Drew each have at least 70 percent of their student body participating in an interscholastic sport throughout the school year, and some have more than 80 percent.

This is despite the fact that Urban is one of the few schools that offer sports teams that require no prior experience. Thus, the fear of being cut or not knowing how to play a sport does not explain why 40 percent of our student body do not participate in an Urban sport.

“I feel like I don’t have time (to play an Urban sport) because all sports practices are five days a week, and I can’t balance school work and athletics,” said Chris Shigezumi (‘17).

Jonah Herbsman (‘18), agreed with Shigezumi and said, “I want to play an Urban sport, but I don’t have time.”

Sarah Weihl (‘17) also thinks that the heavy work load of Urban is preventing her from participating in an interscholastic sport. “It’s a big commitment to every single day for whatever the amount of hours Urban sports are” she said. “It would be really hard to balance school, and having a sport every day.”

While some students believe that Urban’s workload inhibits their ability to participate in an interscholastic sport, Urban’s Assistant Head for Student Life, Charlotte Worsley, believes that the workload is not a logical explanation for the lack of student athletes at Urban because she does not think that “(the workload) is any harder at Urban than at other schools.”

Worsley added, “I think we attract a lot of students who have a really diverse range of interests, and that playing on a sports team is not the be-all-end-all of everyone needing to do it.”

Alex Lee (‘18) said she might be interested in participating in an Urban sport, but said, “I am more into theatre and the arts, so I don’t really have time for theatre, school work, and a school sport.”

Izzy Goldberg (‘16) also has outside of school commitments, and said, “I have school, play two instruments, a job, etc etc etc. (The workload) just kind of stacks up and so there’s no time (for an Urban sport).”

There’s no one reason why Urban has the fewest interscholastic student-athletes in the BCL-West conference. Though some students feel as if the workload is making Urban sports participation impossible, Urban has a diverse range of students, many who participate in theater, music, and other outside commitments that make interscholastic participation tricky.