Spreading the wealth: Sports, activities receive funding based on need, student participation

Spreading+the+wealth%3A+Sports%2C+activities+receive+funding+based+on+need%2C+student+participation

Infographic by Makayla Nicholis.

Makayla Nicholis, Staff Writer

Every year, Blue Valley hosts a wide variety of clubs, sports and activities for its students to participate in. To accommodate student activities, bowling lanes are rented, golf courses are paid for and football equipment is updated, among others.

But where does all the money come from to uphold so many different passions?

BV came up with a solution to solve this issue many years ago, and now Athletic Director Matt Ortman has upheld the responsibility.

“A lot of it was in place when I started this position,” Ortman said. “[Former athletic director Bob] Whitehead established it. I don’t know what reasoning he used to establish it, but I just kept it going.”

Teams at BV are rarely simply given money to play, Ortman said. A lot of the time, students participating in events will raise money through their games or shows.

“When we are taking tickets, all that goes back into our general fund — so all the entry fees, if we host a tournament, attending any games — that all goes into just one pot every year,” Ortman said. “And also, the activity fees for activity passes all go into one general fund, and I divide that out among the different teams, the different clubs and the other areas we have to budget for.”

With so many choices, it could be a problem to make sure everyone gets a fair claim to the funds. Ortman said student participation decides how much money each activity will receive. He also said the cost for upholding the ability to participate in tournaments and matches decides how much money an activity will get.

“For golf, we have to pay for the practice fees,” Ortman said. “We have to pay for tournaments, so that tends to be a little more expensive than cross country where we don’t have to pay to go play at these events. So that also determines how much money goes into each of their budgets.”

However, not all the money that a sport gets comes from the general activities fund.

“To be honest with you, it’s not a lot of money,” Ortman said. “It’s not really going to solve all problems, and that’s where the PTO comes into play. If a group or organization or team needs to get additional funds, we can go to the PTO. They support all the sports and activities, clubs, everything.”