RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s taken a lot of work to keep sports going at Rensselaer this year with athletics cut from the budget. Thanks to a new budget proposal, fundraising efforts alone might not make or break next year’s seasons.
With the potential loss of sports in front of them, Rensselaer senior Emma Endres and her fellow Rams sprung into action.
“I didn’t know one person, especially in any of the class that were like ‘oh we’re just going to give up,'” Endres said. “Everybody was like ‘alright let’s fight, let’s do this, let’s get this back.'”
Endres was one of many Rensselaer students who partnered with members of the community to raise funds for Rams sports this year after athletics were cut from the budget. Their dedication was rewarded with fall, winter and spring sports seasons.
“The ability to really just advocate for yourselves and really think about that and not be down for too long and say ‘you know what, we’re not going to let that get us down,'” Rensselaer athletic director Bill Spath said.
“We’re going to jump right on it and spearhead this and make it work,” Spath said. “We’re not going to take no for an answer. We’re going to have sports this year. The energy they had just kind of energized us to say you know what, we’re going to find a way to make this work for you guys.”
Thanks to an influx of state aid, on Tuesday the Rensselaer school board proposed a $200,000 allocation to athletics for the 2021-2022 school year.
“It’s really nice to see that sports are in the budget,” Endres said. “It was a lot of hard work and we’re really proud of what we accomplished and it is just nice to see that it is being taken seriously now because it wasn’t before.”
While the budget will need to pass a vote on May 18, there’s confidence the Rams will get to compete regardless next fall and beyond.
“Whether it passes or not, I think with the fundraising fall sports will happen regardless,” Rensselaer head football coach Joel Preston said. “I feel confident that people in the community, with what happened last year and the resolve of the kids and the administrators, maybe those factors will come together and help us out.”
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