Here’s why Osceola County School District will cancel several sports programs next year

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — As school winds down for the summer, the Osceola County School District plans to end several sports in all middle and elementary schools.


Effective for the 2024-2025 school year, the Osceola School District has decided to eliminate three middle school sports (wrestling, softball, and golf), elementary school golf, and the elementary all-sports championships.

The district said the decisions were made after a review of school budgets, the availability of facilities and coaches, and declining participation numbers, which parents in the district disagree with.

“I think it should have gone to a vote at least, and also, they say it’s due to lack of funding. Let’s see the proof”, said Nathan Bastos, Father of an Osceola School District Wrestler.

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Bastos told Eyewitness News that he attended all his daughter’s wrestling matches. She wrestles for Neptune Middle School and recently placed first in her weight division.

He said the plan was to continue the sport into 7th grade going into high school.

“She’s devastated, thinking about scholarships, and she’s already got her mind on the right path, and it’s sad to see her dreams being crushed,” said Bastos.

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Bastos and other parents said there should have been a vote with the parent’s consideration before the decision.

Parents plan to speak their concerns at the next Osceola School Board meeting on June 11.

School board leaders took to social media and explained that the board was not behind the decision-making.

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Osceola School District posted on social media as well with the following:

“Be assured that this decision was not made lightly. We understand the significant role that sports, and physical activities play in the development and well-being of our students. We are committed to continuing to provide seven other middle school sports (cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, competitive cheerleading, track and field, and flag football), three elementary school sports (coed cross country, coed soccer, and coed track and field), and a wide range of extracurricular activities to keep our students engaged in physical activities. We encourage our students to participate in the remaining sports and extracurricular activities offered and will be working to enhance these programs to accommodate increased interest.”

Eyewitness News reached out to the district for the numbers on participation last year compared to this year, a look into the budget compared to last year, and who decided to cut the sports.

The district has yet to respond.

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