Shawnee Mission, Olathe districts could cut gymnastics programs - KCTV5

Shawnee Mission, Olathe districts could cut gymnastics programs

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The Olathe School District and Shawnee Mission School District are planning to cut their programs. (KCTV5) The Olathe School District and Shawnee Mission School District are planning to cut their programs. (KCTV5)
SHAWNEE MISSION, KS (KCTV) -

The Olathe School District and Shawnee Mission School District are planning to cut their programs. 

Funding is not being blamed for the decision, but instead, the lack of participation. 

According to a letter distributed to parents in Shawnee Mission on Thursday, both school districts will end the program following the 2016 season. 

Shawnee Mission North gymnastics coach Ann Heinlein says more gymnasts are turning to clubs rather than high school. 

"In high school, numbers have dwindled," Heinlein said. "It just is what it is.  The club atmosphere is very strong and the coaches are very strong and quite frankly, you're not going to get real far with high school gymnastics. You can't get a scholarship, they don't recruit in high schools because the caliber is not typically there.  They recruit in a club atmosphere”

Since 2000, the number of schools participating in gymnastics has decreased from 25 to 13 in 2015. Just 120 students participate in the program across the state. 

KSHSAA also surveyed the 13 schools that have programs. Most of the programs surveyed indicated financial and participation struggles. 

The Shawnee Mission Board of Education will meet next Monday to discuss the matter. 

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