Sports host fundraisers to purchase uniforms and equipment


Photo courtesy Megan Ashenfelter

Sophomore Megan Ashenfelter in her new softball uniform, including the pants her family provided for her. Ashenfelter’s parents spent over $90 trying to purchase the pants that matched her teammates.

While most coaches will provide the uniforms and equipment required for the sport, some have members purchase their own.

“It’s typically the choice of the coach,” athletic director Josh Ybarra said. “What you have with certain sports is that the uniforms aren’t as strictly mandated by KSHSAA (Kansas State High School Activities Association).”

Less mandation allows athletes to have a bit more freedom as well as keep the parts of the uniform or equipment they personally purchased. However, the ways of getting the funds to purchase this equipment either comes out of pocket or from fundraisers.

“The main problem with fundraisers like this is that with so many people involved in some sports, such as football, it can be hard to find people who  haven’t bought any yet, making it difficult to sell,” sophomore David Sullivan said. 

Some students, like sophomore Megan Ashenfelter, have problems with how it is done. 

“For my travel team for softball, we used more unconventional means of fundraising,” Ashenfelter said. “While a school team can’t do that, it raised over $3,000, and we never had to pay a single cent for tournaments.”

Oftentimes, it can be easier with fundraising or personal payment to purchase equipment and uniforms

“It’s not much harder with fundraisers,” Ybarra said. “Not only do coaches do their best to keep the costs for the students down, but there’s less management for them to do. It also allows students to keep any of the items they have purchased, and even use them for later years.” 

Even with benefits, one issue that is prominent is the struggle to find the same item for every member of the team. 

“We have to go out and find the same product for each of us to buy so it stays consistent,” Ashenfelter said. “It’s just time-consuming and a little annoying.”

If students cannot afford things such as these, even with the fundraisers, they will not be prevented from playing the sport. 

“If you can’t afford it, the school will step in and provide what is needed,” Ybarra said. “Students aren’t just prohibited from playing a sport if they lack the financial resources.”