After a successful first season of UIL water polo, the Leander Independent School District has decided to cut the program without input from students and parents. We petition for UIL water polo to be reinstated and supported in Leander ISD schools.
Water polo is one of the nation's fastest-growing sports. In fact, the number of water polo teams playing under TISCA more than doubled in just one decade. Water polo is a sport for everyone- it's one of the few sports that allows an athlete to excel even if they are new to the sport.
Getting rid of water polo in our schools is destroying an amazing opportunity for so many students. Water polo gives us a chance to represent our school by playing the sport we love. On top of all of this, working together as a team to play water polo forges a family like no other; an important dynamic and benefit of team sports.
Leadership, teamwork, and communication skills are all cultivated through playing water polo. Why wouldn't LISD advocate such qualities for their students? There are only more benefits to be found in playing water polo, such as an athlete's considerable increase in strength, speed, and resilience, as well as improved coordination, balance, and motor skills.
It's important to note just how many people care about the presence of water polo in our community. Not once were we student-athletes from the water polo teams given the opportunity to advocate for ourselves and our teams before the district went ahead in canceling water polo for next season. Being able to play on a high school water polo team may be the path to outstanding universities for some, a circle of friends for others, simply a place to belong, or a healthier life, and the list goes on. It would be a disservice to countless LISD students to cut the water polo program.
The existence of this sport may be the deciding factor in gaining new members in our school district. While other school districts surrounding us are developing strong UIL water polo teams, our district will pale in comparison without a water polo program whatsoever. Neighboring districts like Round Rock ISD, Austin ISD, and Eanes ISD have all committed to water polo programs for next year and will attract those families wanting to have this opportunity for their children.
With enough support, we hope that water polo in our district will be reinstated and that all those who want to participate can experience the same joy that can come with playing the game.