Administration: How to Increase Your Athletic Banquet Attendance

Administration: How to Increase Your Athletic Banquet Attendance

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

    Central Algoma Secondary School, located on the north shore of Lake Huron in Northern Ontario, was having
attendance problems at their year-end athletic banquet. At least, they were until Duncan McKenzie, then the head of physical education, took some effective measures.
Athletics Fees
    First, some background: student-athletes at Central
Algoma paid a fee to participate in varsity sports: when first instituted, it was $30 for minor sports (which usually require less travel) and $50 for major sports, such as volleyball and basketball.
    Students who completed the season were refunded half their participation fee when they turned in their uniform. Those who quit received no refund.
Athletic Banquet Strategy
    In order to increase participation at the banquet, the athletic department kept $3.00 of the refund. This went towards the athletic banquet, but athletes then paid nothing extra for admission (athletes in more than one sport paid the $3.00 only  once).
    Attendance was further increased by charging parents only $4.00. The final measure was that students not attending the banquet could not receive a trophy or other award.
    The $3.00 levy on every athlete provided stable funding for the athletic banquet and allowed Central Algoma to provide additional incentives, such as sports-related door and draw prizes (i.e. wind suits).
    The fact that students got into the banquet for “free” was seen as a benefit to those who participated in school sports. And best of all, attendance at the banquet  doubled in only a couple of years.

Reference: From a discussion with Duncan McKenzie. Mr. McKenzie was the head of physical education at Central Algoma Secondary School in Desbarats, Ontario.

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© 2011, Physical Education,

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