The Student News Site of Punahou School

Ka Punahou

The Student News Site of Punahou School

Ka Punahou

The Student News Site of Punahou School

Ka Punahou

Op-Ed: The Importance of Athletics


Have you ever wondered how many kids play sports growing up? In America, 56.6% of children play organized sports, and I was one of them. From football to basketball, to baseball, to soccer, you name it, I played it. They all started as just hobbies, then slowly developed into passions and big parts of my life.

Playing sports isn’t just about staying active. It can also lead to life lessons, chances to grow, and a countless number of other opportunities.

Growing up, sports were the only activities I did outside of school. They helped me meet some of my closest friends and strengthened my social skills.

“Sports have helped me find a community, and make a group of friends,” said Chris Paige ‘21, a starting wide receiver for Punahou’s varsity football team. I met Chris in first grade, and we later became teammates on the football field and the basketball court. Chris is now one of my closest friends and I can point to sports as a big reason why.

“Sports have taught me about collaboration and acted as an outlet for me to kind of forget about everything else, like things that were stressing me out. It also let me meet a lot of my good friends,” stated Mie Dunbar ‘21, a starter on Punahou’s varsity two soccer team.

Sports can also just be there for a social aspect, as Alisa Masamitsu ‘19, a former basketball player at Punahou stated. “I got to meet people outside of Punahou and make new friends with people at Punahou that I normally wouldn’t have talked to.”

Many of these life lessons and values from sports can also apply to school, as many times they are quite comparable. “When you participate in sports you learn a lot about hard work and perseverance and all of that. I think all of those rules apply to the classroom. I guess growing up with sports, like we both did, helped us stay on top of getting our work done and still finding time to relax,” stated Paige ‘21.

Masamitsu ‘19 also believes she owes much of her character development to sports. She said, “sports instilled in me a solid work ethic and also helped me realize the importance of teamwork because that’s something that you’re not only gonna use in sports, it’s something that you use in life. It has also kept me in shape throughout the years because it’s a fun way to exercise”.

Sports have shaped me to become the person I am today. They have given me a competitive mindset, necessary communication skills, leadership roles, and more. Athletics are a huge part of my life, and I can look back at many times on the court that were defining moments in my personal growth. Although I’ve learned a lot in school, sports have taught me many things that school could have never taught me. Therefore I’ve gained many values that I believe could only be taught through really engaging in a sport.

Punahou, as well as outside clubs, offer athletes seemingly endless chances to participate in a variety of activities that other curriculars may not offer. “It’s provided me with a couple of opportunities to get into college or have a chance to get into schools that I maybe wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to go to if it wasn’t for sports. Being on a sports team at Punahou, they emphasize on giving back to the community because we are so privileged,” stated Paige ‘21.

“I’m definitely grateful for sports and everything it’s provided me with in terms of opportunities, meeting new people, and allowing me to travel to places and get to see and experience things I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. I think sports are responsible for a large part of who I am, so I will definitely look back at it and reminisce,” stated Dunbar ‘21.

This year, we seniors look to compete in our last season of our high school athletic careers, but so far have been hindered and confused with what is to come. Senior season is arguably the most important, as we are the true leaders of our respective teams. Since sports have been such an important part of my life and many others’ lives, it’s sad to possibly see it end like this. This will be my last chance to play competitive basketball, so it’s been heartbreaking thus far. With that said, I hope this abrupt break from sports doesn’t stop future generations from participating in them.

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