Go-Karts in Schools, Dream or Reality?

Photo courtesy of Google

Photo courtesy of Google

Joseph Davies, 9th

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Many high schools around the country offer a large selection of sports for students to play, but there can always be more grooves for new sports to come in.

Multiple high schools nationwide allow students to compete in sports leagues held by their districts. There are also many club sports that although not sanctioned by the schools or district itself, still compete with other schools.

Some of these sports can be more extreme than the official school sports. One of these extreme sports could be go-kart races.

It is difficult for students more interested in other sports, not provided in school, to make a career out of them. With a sport like football or soccer, a student has a chance of getting a scholarship or an opportunity to play professionally if they do well enough.

Most racecar drivers get their start in racing by competing in karting events at a young age. Jimmie Johnson, a 7-time NASCAR champion from El Cajon started his racing career at age 8 by entering in kart races around southern California.

If a student joins a sports club or joins one of the school’s sports teams, it does not cost any additional money to play the sport since it is included in their curricular program.

Since karting is not a school sport, students would have to buy the required supplies for racing as well as the actual kart by themselves if they wanted to compete. On top of that, they would have to find a means to transport everything from one track to another, which costs thousands of dollars.

If the San Diego Unified School District were to incorporate karting into its high school sports roster, or if a school where to add it as a club, it would for certain cost money that could be hard obtain since it seems that schools are always on the chopping block when it comes to budget cuts.

The Houston Chronicle newspaper reports that it costs $600-700 to build a kart from scratch, and about $2,000 to $3,000 to buy one. This, however, does not cover the cost of maintenance. The paper also says that it costs about $300,000 to build and maintain a track.

When the math is done, it could cost anywhere between $300,600-$303,000 to buy or build one kart and a track, and those numbers would cover the costs of only one of 19 high schools in the San Diego Unified District. This also does not account for the amount of equipment per school, and maintenance as that could vary.

Due to the cost of the go-karts, the number of drivers per team would be limited to anywhere between one and four drivers.

Transporting equipment is also crucial if teams want to get their karts, and other various other things from event to event, however often that may be. This also means that more money would have to be paid.

A large benefit from holding events like these is that every school that competes in the league can all participate in the event instead of other sports such as baseball or soccer in that only two teams can participate at one time.

Having all schools compete at once could drive up attendance at events. Since there are multiple schools competing in each event, at least some people from each school will come to the events to support their school’s team.

The increased attendance at events could potentially increase the number of sales of things such as snacks, and tickets, among other things.

A big concern that people have about kart racing is safety.

The correct measures should be implemented to protect both the driver and the spectator. In kart racing, if a kart gets out of control or begins flipping, both the driver and the spectator are at risk of injury.

This would cost money, however, but both spectator, student well-being should be the top priority in a sport such as kart racing.

Not all parents would approve of this. There are always parents that disapprove of things like this, most of the time it is due to the safety risk that comes with something like kart racing.

Clairemont high school parent Gabriella Davies is against the idea of kart racing in schools. “I would think that they would have to have knowledge of driving which I’m sure most kids know how to drive by say 16 but I would say that it could a potential problem and maybe even a liability for the school itself so I think that perhaps it wouldn’t be such a good idea because kid could get injured, and injured in a big way, rollover crashes, other injuries that would send them to the hospital. I think it’s a sport that an adult needs to be, at least a minimum of 16 but 18 to 21 would be better.”

Another issue surrounding this is a lack of interest in the kart teams. There might not be enough people that want to partake and the whole thing would be a loss.

Academy of Engineering freshman Jack French agrees with the concept of high school kart teams. “I don’t see why not…it’s competitive, you need to focus for it, and focus is something that (is crucial) especially since real driving is such a thing if you get used to paying attention to a road then yes that would be good.”

French also said that it would not be something to see in the near future. “I think it would take a wide adoption of the idea which would require convincing a lot of people onto the idea, some of whom may be against it by the sheer premise of it however in the long term if we could get enough people to agree, it would be possible and beneficial (to students).”

The district would be making a major gamble if it went through with the idea. There is no way of knowing as to whether or not it would succeed.

“I think they would be an expense, personally, (the schools) could bring in money, but the karts themselves are actually pretty expensive, needing motors and stuff like that…but if the school is able to support it though, I still think it’s worth it,” French said. So this just shows that many people are doubtful of this kind of thing happening.

Davies said, “I think it would depend on the school, if the school is in (a wealthy) area, and by all means, if they can afford this then, it would depend on the school and if they can get sponsors because it’s quite an expensive sport.”

The option of incorporating a club instead of a league is significantly cheaper and safer. In the club, students interested in kart racing, or motor racing, in general, can come and discuss the topic and go to go-kart tracks around San Diego County.

There have been at least two, one time events in the past year where high school students got the chance to race against other schools in go-karts.

The first event was put on by a school district in Bristol, Tennessee, and held in early May 2017. Using grants from the Tennessee Department of Education, students from 20 different schools built solar-powered karts and raced them around the apron and pit-lane at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The other event was put on by Purdue University, it was called the High School Go-Karting Series, it took place from May 15th to 16th, 2017. The student’s cars were powered by gel-cell acid batteries according to Purdue’s website.

Both events were held to get more students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, known as STEM.

High school kart teams might sound like a good idea, in theory, it helps students learn to drive, it’s beneficial to students that want to drive race cars someday, it could teach them good mechanic skills.

The sad truth of it all is that all of that stuff costs money that schools today simply just do not have. If enough students are interested in karting or racing of any kind, a club would be the best course of action in order to save money.

In the future, if schools have more money, maybe karting will become an officially sanctioned sport, but right now, it is highly unlikely, and if students are interested in karting, a club will have to suffice.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Video

    ASB Bulletin 2-20-18

  • Video

    Video Bulletin 2/7/18

  • Video

    ASB Bulletin 1/30

  • Go-Karts in Schools, Dream or Reality?

    News

    Fun Things to do in North Park

  • Go-Karts in Schools, Dream or Reality?

    Features

    Teenagers Need More Zzzzzz

  • Go-Karts in Schools, Dream or Reality?

    Features

    Social Media Age Has Risks

  • Go-Karts in Schools, Dream or Reality?

    Features

    Texting Impacts Student Writing

  • Go-Karts in Schools, Dream or Reality?

    Features

    Phobias At Clairemont High School

  • Go-Karts in Schools, Dream or Reality?

    Features

    Freshmen Fears

  • Go-Karts in Schools, Dream or Reality?

    Features

    Cafeteria Workers Cook Their Way Into The Heart And Bowl Of Students

Go-Karts in Schools, Dream or Reality?