LEROY — The Pine River School District has announced from its meeting on Monday, the Board of Education, Pine River Area Schools eliminated the athletic policy of Pay to Participate by a 7-0 vote.

Board president, Jim Peterson said there was a time for the policy when money was tight. But he added tightening the belt the last couple of years has helped changed some perspectives.

“Students and parents shouldn’t have to worry about finding $50 to play football, volleyball, or run cross country in late August,” stated Superintendent Matt Lukshaitis, who added, “We want to maximize participation at Pine River. If eliminating Pay to Participate helps even one student-athlete be part of our athletic teams, then I think we should create the opportunity.”

Shawn Ruppert, Pine River Middle School-High School Athletic Director added, “I feel this is a great decision for everyone involved in our athletic program, from the players, to the parents, to the coaches.

“We want kids to participate, period. Any hurdle that we can remove that will increase our participation numbers, is a good thing.”

Lukshaitis added: “In the end, abolishing the policy of Pay to Participate is just the right thing to do for kids. We want to develop the entire student—academically, physically, socially, and emotionally. Athletics are a huge part of learning how to plan, set goals, develop a purpose, and achieve objectives as a member of a team and as an individual.

“Our athletic teams do pretty well at Pine River because our coaches are program-oriented, not single season-oriented. We don’t want to win at the expense of the experience and this helps us maintain our integrity, focus on school pride, and keeps winning traditions alive and well.

“The Board of Education made a powerful decision last night,” he added, “and I couldn’t be happier for our kids and our community.”