The end of the school year signals the end of the sports seasons, but it also marks the start of new plans for the next school year. Amongst the adjustments being considered for next year, sports is undoubtedly one of the biggest source of consideration. Specifically, sports teams such as badminton and track and field are looking forward to a status change from unofficial to official starting from the 18-19 school year.
SIS currently has seven KAIAC certified, official sports teams: three in the fall, two in the winter, and two in the spring, but this situation may soon change with the addition of several teams planning to turn official next year. Badminton, for example, is already active as a spring varsity sport. However, its status as an unofficial sport means that there are fewer practices and opportunities for intense competition. Track and field too is seeking to change its status in the coming years. Though it was founded just last year, it may develop into a more organized sport if enough students express interest in the future.
“Turning track and field here at SIS into an official sport has been an important long-term goal for both me and Joe,” said Kevin Kim (11), co-founder of the track and field team. “Before we initiated track and field as an unofficial sport this year, we dreamed of traveling to other school to compete just as we would in other official sports. I would be very happy if track and field were to become an official sport at SIS—it would demonstrate the passion and interest of potential track and field athletes who will keep the fire burning.”
The process of becoming an official sport definitely takes some time. Though badminton has been a sport played by SIS students for quite a while, it is only now starting to garner enough support to become a part of the KAIAC conference. According to Ivan Atanaskovic, Athletics and Activities Coordinator, there are two significant factors that allow a sport to secure a status change.
“First of all, there needs to be enough interest among students,” said Mr. Atanaskovic. “The other thing that really made a difference for badminton was that there were facilities available during spring season that opened up practice two days a week in Tiger Gym 2. As soon as we had practices there, other schools started to have the same, and naturally we started to talk about friendly matches.”
As of now, the badminton team has become a KAIAC sanctioned sport and will participate as one starting from next season. A number of schools have expressed interest in continuing to participate in friendly matches and tournaments, and if this interest grows in the future, SIS may be able to introduce badminton as a KAIAC sponsored event. As for track and field, it is still a newly created sport, which means that the school is taking baby steps to ensure that it follows the same process as badminton.
“I was a part of both the badminton and the volleyball teams this year,” said Gina Yang (10), varsity badminton player. “Badminton was a little different from volleyball because it is not a KAIAC sport, which means we do not have to practice everyday after school. I really hope that the badminton team will have more challenging opportunities next year that will help them to improve and become stronger players.”