The Warwick school committee voted 5-0 in favor of passing the city’s new proposed budget of $4 million to fund sports and other related activities on Monday evening.
First off, this is very good news. Of course, nothing is set in stone and there are some details still being hammered away, but overall, it looks like sports will be returning to Warwick in the fall.
For the first time throughout this process, I have to give the school committee credit. I have been one of the many people who have slammed the school committee for allowing this situation to unravel to this point, and for even considering removing interscholastic athletics from two middle schools and two high schools.
But what this tells me is that the members of the committee have heeded the sentiments of the local coaches, athletes and fans, so credit to them for listening and understanding what sports mean to this community. It could have easily continued on as is, but it made, or is trying to make, the appropriate decisions that the public has been fighting for over the past month.
Like I said, it is not quite official, so I certainly would proceed with caution, but things are looking up for the first time this summer.
My other big takeaway from this situation is power of the people.
Whether it be the community gathering at the school committee meetings, protesting outside of city hall, voicing their feelings online and on social media, it is clear that those involved in the city and the school committee took notice, and how could they not?
Look, I am also not trying to insinuate that those involved did not understand the importance of local sports, or were truly in favor of the cuts, but the community certainly put the pressure on them to make the right decision. Credit to all involved on both sides for putting together what seems to be a logical solution to the problem.
Assuming things go according to plan, and Warwick gets its sports back for the fall season, the focus must now be on the future.
How can we prevent a situation like this from occurring again? How can we protect sports moving forward? What can people in the city do to help the cause?
As I have said many, many times throughout this crisis, I am not a lawmaker, a politician, what have you. I am not nearly qualified enough to make suggestions on this, but I urge, and challenge those who are involved to work to come up with a way to protect sports moving forward. Sports, especially at the middle school and high school level, are beyond important. Let’s recognize this and make sure their availability will never be in doubt again.
Earlier this week, we here at the Warwick Beacon revealed our 2018-2019 All-City teams.
I just wanted to say congratulations to all of those who were mentioned, as you all had incredible seasons last school year, many of you can say that for multiple sports.
Continue to work hard and compete, but more than anything, continue to have fun and make memories with your friends that will last forever. That is what this is all about, and I am very thankful that I am just a small part of it each year.
Lastly, I have been pretty unforgiving when it comes to weather-related postponements. Whether it be (no pun intended) rain, cold, sloppy field conditions, I have been pretty vocal about my displeasure of the amount of schedule changes we see during the fall and spring.
However, I must be a bit hypocritical here, because I am totally in favor of some of the schedule changes that are taking place this weekend. As of Wednesday morning, the forecast states that the high temperature for Saturday is going to be 99 degrees, with roughly 60 percent humidity. The local Little League tournaments will now be taking place in the morning and evening, which I fully agree with.
Here’s your chance to call me out, because I am holding myself accountable and admitting that when it comes to this level of heat, I am a full-blown hypocrite. Take your shot now, because come fall, I am going to be complaining once again.