As a public relations major, public speaking is a mandatory class to take as a pre-req. One of the speeches was a 9-10 minute long persuasive speech. I choose to persuade the class that sports should not longer be cut from school systems. This is my speech written out with each main point, introduction, and conclusion referenced. I hope you agree or have changed your mind after reading the speech. Go into it with an open mind and understand the amount of time and research that went into the assignment.
$140 million dollars. Take a moment and think about all the things you can buy with that money. According to Sportsillustrated.com that is the estimated total revenue for the University of Alabama’s athletics in 2014. That is more than the presidents salary, Kim Kardashians Instagram followers and the amount of people that live in Rhode Island combined. The amount of money sports generate is just one example of a benefit from athletics. My name is Halle Epstein and I am going to tell you about the world of athletics in education and how they should remain in schools. I love sports. I have played and watched them my whole life. Learning from my audience analysis, I see you guys all also played sports growing up….Even if you are not a big sports fan I am sure as a kid you played in gym class, or went to your siblings or friends games which helps you understand the importance of athletics in education. Every child, adolescent, and teenager should be given the opportunity to join a sports team no matter where they are from or their financial background. Ive learned through the extensive research I have done on the topic that sports are beneficial at every stage in eduction. Throughout my speech I will reflect on this idea and first talk about the negative effects of cutting sport programs. Then I will talk about the benefits of athletic programs and lastly I will talk about more specifically about the benefits from college football. I hope to persuade you that athletics should no longer be cut from education systems.
MAIN POINT 1:
Budget cuts leading to athletics being canceled from schools has been occurring across the country. Up2Us, a nonprofit for sports-based youth development recorded that, Between 2009 to 2011 $3.5 billion was cut from schools sports budget. It is predicted that by the year 2020 an estimated 27% of U.S. public high schools will not have any sports. CNBC covered the topic this past July and interviewed Dicks Sporting Good’s chief of marketing who said “It has become apparent that youth sports are in crisis.” Imagine not even having the option to play a sport growing up? Never ever playing on a team. What if Lebron James’ high school cut the basketball team? Sports are just as important as school. Playing a sport doesn’t just mean just working out, it comes with the social aspect. This is important no matter what age but especially as a child. Growing up sports are a good way for children to meet other kids the same age and form friendships. Brandon Marshall, wide receiver for the New York Jets said “Sports is a universal language. It breaks down so many barriers.” Without athletics kids only meet each other in the classroom making it harder for kids to socialize. Another negative effect is without athletics students have less physical activity. Owen previously told us about the child obesity problems in the US. This is just another factor that adds to this epidemic. Children not only eating unhealthy but then also not getting the right amount of exercise. Besides on the elementary school level, cutting sport teams in high school also leads to negative consequences. High school sports provide initiative for many students who otherwise would care little about their grades. When pushed to maintain a minimum grade point average just to be eligible to participate in sports, students have no choice but to improve, or be put on academic probation from their sport. Therefore, by designating sufficient funds to their sports programs, schools are motivating students to improve their academic performance. Without sports, teenagers have more free time after school which often leads to them to getting in trouble. Playing on the team keeps kids occupied and staying on the right path.
Now that I stated the negative effects from cutting athletics I will now share who and what benefits from sport programs.
MAIN POINT 2:
Sports directly coincide with academic success. News source, The Atlantic said in October of 2013 that “On-the-field success and high participation in sports is not random–it requires focus and dedication to athletics.” The lessons learned from athletics is worth the money needed, they are priceless. Being on a team teaches you life lessons one cannot learn in the classroom. Some of these lessons we have all learned are to 1. Have a good attitude: bad sportsman ship is not acceptable. You must respect your teammates, couches and the other team no matter what. AND 2. Let go of your mistakes: a good couch will teach their team that you must acknowledge your mistakes, learn from them and then move on. Not only are these important lessons to learn but they create a successful, well rounded student reflecting in better grades. Carli Lloyd, midfielder for the U.S. Women’s National team said that “Youth sports laid the foundation of my professional career. I learned the value of hard work and to respect teammates and coaches. Sports give such a wide range of things that can help in the long term.” These lessons create character development in children that they carry into the classroom. Also according to UP2Us student athletes are 4 times more likely to attend college and have 40% higher test scores. We should support these programs no matter if you like or play any sports. Too keep sport programs alive, communities can fundraise. There are so many possible fundraisers such as partnering with local restaurants. In rhode island a lot of stores give back. Moe’s constantly has fundraisers for greek life, or has discounts when we win in a sports game. This is one alternative way to raise money from town members and outside sources. In my town every week theres different sports team collecting money on the side of the road raising money for their specific program. There are easy and creative ways to raise money and awareness. The Huffington Post took a pubic poll with the question “If your school had to make cuts to save money, what should be cut first?” and the public answered with School Newspaper or Broadcast outlet, summer school, field trips and custodians. No one wants to cut anything from schools, yet its the harsh reality. Looking into programs, resources or jobs that have the least impact on the district and students is the answer.
MAIN POINT 3: Now that I have shared with you the many benefits sports teams offer on the high school level, I am going to talk more about college sports and more specifically the benefits of college football. We all went through the grouching process of visiting and applying to colleges. When I was looking into schools a major factor was athletics. One thing URI lacked that I wish we had was a good football team, not because I’m a huge football fan but because of what comes with the games. Everyone; boys and girls dressing in their school spirt apparel, the tailgates, the crazy chants, the huge stadium.. and so much more. URI is considered a medium size school and typically the really good football schools are massive. However, according to uri.edu our schools facility was renamed Meade Stadium in 1978 when a 50-row concrete, aluminum and steel grandstand was opened, bringing the seating capacity to 8,000. 8,000…. thats not enough to fit even half of the students that attend this school. Rutgers University is a school located in New Jersey that Im sure you guys have heard of. It was recently added into the Big 10 Division in 2014 which is a college sports conference. Within the last year after being added to the conference Rutgers has already seen benefits. According to NJ.com, enrollment services at Rutgers said “We are already seeing the benefits of entering the Big Ten and its academic counterpart, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. Applications for admission to Rutgers are up by 12 percent, with out-of-state applications up by 15 percent. The average SAT score of admitted applicants to Rutgers has increased by more than 20 points since our entrance to the Big Ten; this is an unprecedented improvement.’’ They also stated that the increased revenue made from the football games is helping them build a new honors building. This is another example of how sports coincide with academic success. Cutting the football team here would completely change the University. Instead of getting rid of the program, budgeting the money and creating a stronger program would draw a greater amount of potential prospective students and generate money for the school as a whole. We have the resources and the potential to make it great. The university has been doing a lot of renovations including the building we are in right now, Butterfield and now working on renovating Ranger Hall for the Harrington School of Communications which effects a lot of us being Communications, PR, or Journalism majors. With the high money generated from sports, more renovations to improve the school all around can be become possible.
In conclusion, athletics benefit children, students, schools, and communities. Budget cuts are a harsh reality in todays society. However there are other ways to cut back without hurting the school district and students. Sports give kids opportunities to succeed outside the classroom. The lessons learned from sports last a lifetime. Cutting athletics needs to stop. Thank you for listening.