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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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All you need is glove(s)

Accessibility of winter sports at Park

Winter sports are very popular at Park, but equipment can be a barrier for a lot of kids. Sports such as nordic skiing and hockey require a lot of equipment, while basketball doesn’t require as much. While some have been playing their sport from early ages and don’t think twice about having the highest quality equipment, purchasing equipment can be challenging for others.

In skiing, athletes require many items to participate. They need skis, poles, boots and many layers for being out in the cold. According to senior captain Tommy Walsh some kids struggle to acquire the necessary equipment to play.

“The equipment can be very expensive and is a roadblock that stops people from joining,” Walsh said. “I was lucky enough to have family that had skied before (with equipment) that I could use once they didn’t need it any more.”

Head coach Doug Peterson said the team has strategies to help skiers get equipment, but there are limitations to this method.

“It’s like a pair of tennis shoes, you can only go so far on it,” Peterson said. “When we give people skis—beginners mostly—it works for them and then they make choices whether they want to upgrade it.”

Walsh said the team is trying to fix this problem by supplying materials for kids that don’t have them.

“They have made more skis available and had coaches work with ski shops to get used skis for kids,” Walsh said. “The program supplies equipment, but it isn’t always the best quality.”

While nordic is one of the more equipment heavy sports, hockey also requires players to purchase many items that can be expensive as well. Players need skates, knee pads, a helmet and gloves, which aren’t normally cheap. Junior hockey player Lathan Harmston said some kids don’t play hockey due to the challenge of purchasing the items needed for participating. 

“People definitely don’t play because they can’t afford the equipment,” Harmston said. “It can be pretty expensive to get for people who haven’t played before.”

According to Peterson, the team is committed to helping players participate even if they need help from the team. 

“We provide equipment to younger kids and beginners,” Peterson said. “We were able to outfit 25 people in the last year.”

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About the Contributor
Ryan Steinberg, Echo Staffer
Hi, I’m Ryan. I’m a junior and this is my first year on echo. I’m excited to be a part of this group. In my free time I like to play ultimate and hanging out with my friends. I also  play soccer and ultimate for the school.  

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