Outside Teams Included

August 2, 2017

Trinity High School in River Forest, Ill., recently launched the Discovery of Independent Athletes Initiative, in order to ensure that all students who play sports receive the support that those who are part of a school-sponsored team do.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Truls Henriksen, whose daughter, Sammie, participates in rowing outside the school, proposed the idea to Rachel Meiner, Trinity's athletic director, as well as the school's booster club, late last autumn.

Trinity posted a letter on its athletics website asking those involved in non-school affiliated sports to come forward, so the school can “help get the word out about what (they) are doing and how it is going.” Meiner plans to continue to promote the program, such as by giving all incoming freshmen a copy of the letter.

"Even though they're not playing on one of our sports, they're still our athletes," Meiner said. "And they represent Trinity, so why not celebrate them?"

Henriksen said that while only two athletes have taken advantage of the initiative thus far, he believes in its potential, and that recognizing athletes in the community who do not participate in school-sponsored sports would be good for those students and the school.

Bruce DeSanto, athletic director at St. Joseph High School, said the initiative was an “excellent” plan. He said he was unsure of how many independent athletes attended his school, but he planned to propose something similar.

"I think it might open the eyes of other athletes who have the desires to play other sports but aren't sure where to go with them," he said. "Sometimes, they'll come to our athletic office and they'll say, 'We'd like to do A, B and C.' But we don't have enough involvement to get that started, And if they have another avenue to pursue, they can go that route.

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