BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)– Bellwood-Antis School District may be looking to join the trend in adding an e-sports program to their district.
E-sports is short for electronic sports. It’s usually played in competitions either individually or in teams. Over 2,000 schools are partnered with the High School Esports League.
Superintendent of the district, Dr. Thomas McInroy, said that this wasn’t something he would consider, but once he discovered further details about the program, he found how many benefits there are to students.
“It brings kids together with adult supervision, provides structure,” McInroy said. “Also, kids who might be disinterested in school give them an opportunity to participate in a sports program that would be worth wild.”
This proposed idea would be offered for grades 3-12 as an intramural program, with grades advancing their skills as they get older. McInroy described that this program would also allow students who don’t participate in sports to have that opportunity to be in a team activity.
High School Principal Richard Schreier said they don’t plan to teach students technical skills. They look to build upon the skills that students already developed by playing games.
“This would give them an opportunity and a platform to exhibit those skills and work with others while developing character just like we encourage in our other extracurriculars,” Schreier said.
McInroy also added that this would aim to steer kids away from negativity from social media. He noted the recent trend in negative posts recently.
“We want them to be able to be respectful of people and work together to come as a team to win at an event,” McInroy said. “So that would be some of those things, just like you would have at all athletic events.”
Currently, they are surveying students in grades 3-11 for interest in the program. The results are expected to come within the next two to three weeks. If they are successful with this intramural program, they’ll look into starting their team.
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The program is budgeted to cost around $5,000, but that could change. The school board would have to vote on the program, which will be done at the end of the year.