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New London considers new activities

Bowling, sixth-grade dance, ice fishing may be added

By Robert Cloud

The New London School District is considering three new activities to add to its athletics program.

Phil Sloma, director of co-curricular activities, spoke to the New London School Board at its June 26 meeting.

He proposed consideration of a high school ice fishing club, intermediate, middle and high school bowling teams, and a sixth-grade dance team.

Sloma said Stacy Ruckdashel, who coaches the high school dance team, had suggested starting a seventh- and eighth-grade dance team a few years ago.

Ruckdashel conducted a survey and found more than 20 students who expressed interest in a sixth-grade team.

The sixth-grade program would coincide with the seventh- and eighth-grade girls basketball program in January and February.

The seventh- and eighth-grade dance program coincides with the seventh- and eighth-grade boys’ basketball program in December and January.

“We’re looking at another opportunity for our students at the intermediate level, specifically at the sixth-grade level, to participate in the school-sponsored program,” Sloma said.

New London High School currently has an unofficial ice fishing team and Sloma suggested the club be recognized and sponsored by the district.

“We had a lot of students involved,” Sloma said. “We had 17 students this past year and they participated in various events around the area when the lakes were safe.”

Sloma said 125 schools are part of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Fishing Association, which provides oversight, sets rules and oversees tournaments. The organization has a board of directors and an advisory board.

Recognition helps fundraising

Business Services Director Joe Marquardt told the board that a benefit of being a school-sponsored activity is that the club can raise funds.

“When they were not an official recognized organization by the school, it made it difficult for us to start holding money for them in a student activity account because it didn’t follow all the guidelines set forth by the board,” Marquardt said. “This would help them to formalize.”

Sloma also proposed intermediate/middle school and high school bowling teams.

“There are lots of kids in town who like to bowl,” Sloma said.

The high school bowling season would run from November through February and the middle school team would compete from February through April.

While the middle school bowling team would offer fifth-graders an opportunity to participate, the fifth-graders could not compete or be scored.

The teams would bowl at New London Lanes as well as bowling alleys in other participating school districts.

Sloma said there are additional issues that the school board would need to address regarding a bowling team, such as transportation, lettering and scholarships.
The school board took no action at its June meeting, but future discussion is planned.

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