After attending the Carbon Dinos volleyball game last Tuesday evening, I realized what an emphasis this community puts on sports. This observation was not made by myself however. In fact, it was my four year old daughter that brought this fact to light for me.
Because I work odd hours and it is difficult to spend much time with my family, I often times take my daughter with me to events, particularly sporting events. She enjoys watching the games and cheering for the home team, but she also notices quite a few things which amazes me at times.
During this particular outing, she realized just how loud a gymnasium can get and how exciting a sporting event can become.
It was the final half hour of the game when the crowd erupted and the game was close. Fans cheering for Carbon were standing on their feet and yelling for the Lady Dinos. Some of the younger fans were even yelling at the North Sanpete fans and parents that were in the stands.
Because I was taking pictures, we sat on the front row on the Dinos side of the court, right next to the Hawks fans. It seemed as if we were traitors or something because of some of the looks we got from Dino fans.
Now I realize that these fans are not being unsportsmanlike, but they were simply enjoying the heat of the moment. But my daughter yelled in my ear, "Mommy, I'm scared."
I explained to her that everyone was excited and that they were just cheering for the Dinos. No one was mad, they were just having fun and enjoying the game.
After the game was over and the Dinos had defeated the Hawks, everyone started to clear the building. We waited for the crowd to die down before we left so that my small daughter would not get stepped on as we exited the school.
As we sat and watched the people go by, my daughter explained to me that she wants to play volleyball and be like those girls when she grows up.
I encouraged her and said that she could participate in any sport she wants. She then looked at me and said, "I want everyone to yell for me and have fun watching me play. I want to meet Dino too."
This made me laugh and then I began to think. She is right. It would be quite a special feeling to know that the crowd came to watch you play a sport and that they would cheer and encourage you to do your best.
As I sat pondering this fact, she looked up at me and said "Mommy, don't these people go to school here? The only time we come is when they are playing."
That's when it dawned on me, we as a community seem to put more of an emphasis on sports than we do education.
How many parents go to their childrens schools for a visit and talk to their childs teacher about their progress? I'm not saying that there are parents who don't do this, but for the most part, the only visits parents make to their childs school is for parent teacher conference meetings and to register their child for classes.
Now I know that I'm going to catch heck (it is Utah after all) over this, but it really made me wonder why sporting events draw more attention than a childs progress in school?
Don't get me wrong, if my daughter does compete in a sporting event, I will be there for every game and I will probably be the loudest fan in the stands. But if parents would stand up and cheer their children on when it comes to education, maybe we could lift the districts grade levels and have a lower drop out rate.