Across the country, many high schools are deploying creative approaches to expand their physical education offerings. In Long Island, New York, one school district is trying to expose students to not just sports, but lifelong activities to keep them active for the years following high school. Athletic Business looked to see exactly how the Half Hollow Hills School District has been able to reshape the gym class experience.
The Half Hollow Hills School District has seen their outdoor gym class offerings triple in the last three years to bring the total amount of programs to 21. The many different classes range in type from a fly fishing class to mountain biking to table tennis and golf - all held either on-campus or nearby where the programs can flourish. The goal of the revamped curriculum is to foster good fitness habits as well as promote a lifelong interest in niche sports and activities that students may not otherwise have an opportunity to participate in. The variety of offerings is highly beneficial to students who may be turned away from traditional sports such as dodgeball, soccer, and basketball.
Shawn Dillon, department chairman for physical education and health at nearby Longwood High School said it perfectly. It is no longer acceptable "to be that cookie-cutter and say 'You know what, you're going to play football and soccer. You're going to do that whether you like it or not, because that's what we do here.’”
Through local partnerships, school districts can work with sport facilities, parks, and other providers of athletic space to expand their current offerings. Many schools may not have the capabilities to provide a swimming pool, racquetball courts, or a yoga studio. If a school were able to provide the athletic supplies and local facilities supply the space, a new door is opened to increased athletic opportunities in which students could largely benefit from.
By being introduced to more sports at younger ages, students may grow a lifelong appreciation for less popular sports such as pickleball or yoga. The facilities that own the athletic space may also see this as an opportunity to showcase their facility or offerings to students - who may some day become customers or members of their club or gym.
GymDandy is here to help those interested in traditional team sports as well as less popular, ‘niche’ sports. While GymDandy does not currently offer ways to compete in equestrian or fly fishing, there are plenty of yoga studios, pickleball courts, and soccer fields available to rent immediately. Finding athletic space and having opportunities to be active should not need to be difficult, and with GymDandy, it’s not. Simply search by sport or space type and begin playing today!