Shelby ends ‘pay to play’ for sports.

August 26, 2021

Shelby ends ‘pay to play’ for sports.

SHELBY — The Shelby Public School Board recently voted to eliminate the district’s “pay-to-play” athletics program.

“The pay-to-play program, created in 2013 as a response to the Great Recession, required families/students to pay a fee to participate in athletics, which helped offset the costs to maintain the programs,” states a press release from the school district. “The Shelby Public School Board suspended the ‘pay-to-play’ program in 2020 as COVID-19 impacted each sport and the number of games a student would play due to cancellations.

“As Shelby Public Schools navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we didn’t think it would be fair for our students to be required to pay to play in a season which had so much uncertainty,” said Tim Reeves, Shelby Public Schools Superintendent.

After suspending the program in 2020, the school board reevaluated the “pay-to-play” program and determined it was unnecessary moving forward.

There was a flat rate of $75 per athlete per season at the high school level and $50 for middle school athletes, said Reeves.

“We recognize the importance of athletics to the development of our students and are excited to push forward without requiring fees to participate,” said Reeves. “While COVID-19 has not only challenged schools to reconsider how to educate outside of the classroom, it’s also helped to bring new light to the importance of extracurricular activities, like athletics, to the mental wellbeing of our students. We are excited for our students to participate in athletics without worrying about the financial burden.”

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