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Athletic Merger Discussion

Belfast and Genesee Valley Schools Discuss Merger of Athletics Programs

Genesee Valley Central School (GVCS) and Belfast Central School are exploring the prospect of merging athletics programs beginning in the 2021-22 school year.

Representatives from both districts have met multiple times over the past year to review current and projected team numbers and to evaluate the feasibility of merging programs.

“Belfast Central School is discussing merging athletic programs to increase opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Wendy Butler, Superintendent at Belfast. “The merger of programs will allow our students to play sports at an appropriate skill and age level throughout their athletic career.”

GVCS Board of Education President Timothy Hand commented: “We have witnessed the decline of athletic participation over the past several years and feel that it is time to look at all options to increase opportunities for student athletes.”

Two meetings have been scheduled to further the conversation and bring other voices to the discussion. On October 1, a joint meeting will be held at Genesee Valley with the Board of Education Athletics Committees and Varsity coaches. A second meeting with community youth sports leaders will convene at Belfast on October 15. Feedback from the communities of each district will be sought throughout the process.

“We are eager to meet with coaches, youth sports organizers, parents, students, and other stakeholders in both communities,” said Butler. “The goal is to determine what steps make the most sense for the students in both districts.”

“We understand there is long standing pride in both communities and that change is never easy,” said Hand. “However, we believe joining forces may be the best way to secure a sustainable athletics program where competitive, age and skill appropriate teams can be built and maintained."