Idaho Makes Swimming an “Official Sport”
It's taken a long time - 30 years in fact - but Idaho has finally made swimming an officially sanctioned Idaho high school sports association sport.
That doesn't mean people haven't been competing for those years, but this makes it official. We're certainly behind the crowd, as Idaho is the 49th "state" (including the District of Columbia who already had) to sanction the sport.
While swimming has long been a club sport in Idaho, participants say they are excited by the idea of being able to swim for their schools. This move to make it an officially sanctioned sport brings swimming to equal footing with other school activities.
Schools will now be able to include swimmers at pep assemblies, school announcements, and offer additional funding and recognition for swim. It also opens up additional budget opportunities for the programs.
Boise School District has budgeted $4500 for coaching salaries and pool rental fees this year. West Ada doesn't rent pools, but does have $2600 to $3200 budgeted for each of it's five high school coaches.
Swimming being an official sport also helps achieve Title IX requirements, as it's one of a few sports with more female participation than male.
The Idaho Statesman has more on this development.