Athletics have long been a cornerstone of the collegiate experience. One school in Atlanta has decided to terminate all sports programs in favor of a focus on fitness.
Spelman College, historically a black women’s college, has reallocated the $1 million dedicated to its sports programs to a campus-wide health and fitness program. The minimal participation in sports—only 80 students, or 4% of the student body, were involved—helped solidify the decision. According to Spelman President Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, the new program could help all 2,100 enrollees.
“When I was looking at the decision, it wasn’t being driven by the cost as much as the benefit. With $1 million, 80 student-athletes were benefitting,” explains Tatum in a press release. “Should we invest [instead] in a wellness program that would touch every student’s life?”
Reports indicate that as many as 1 in every 2 students at Spelman has high blood pressure, has type 2 diabetes or is obese—a trend Tatum hopes this program will curb.
“I have been to funerals of young alums who were not taking care of themselves, and I believe we can change that pattern not only for them but for the broader community,” she says.
What do you think? Do you agree with Spelman’s elimination of its sports program in favor of a campus-wide health and fitness program? Send your comments to [email protected]