All athletes need to be comfortable and safe from overheating

To the Editor:
The Guilderland girls’ outdoor track team received an email from a coach on April 12, 2023. It said, “We have been asked by the school administration to remind athletes that the school dress code applies to athletes at practice, and meets also. Athletes are not allowed to practice in only their sports bras because the school dress code states that students must ‘ensure that underwear is covered by outer clothing.’”

In discussions of the dress code, people always talk about the need for girls to dress modestly so that boys are not distracted. First of all, this problem should not be put on girls to solve. Girls should be able to dress comfortably, and they should not be held responsible for how their clothing choices make other people feel.

During track practice, the temperatures get very unbearable, and making girls wear another layer to cover up affects performance. All of my friends on the team feel much better when they are practicing in what they are comfortable in, and on hot days, when we aren’t allowed to wear sports bras, we don’t get much done, because we’re overheating.

I have spoken to friends of mine on different boys’ sports teams who practice in close proximity to us, and they agree the rule is absurd. They have stated that sports bras aren’t even revealing and that they aren’t concerned with us and our practice because they’re focused on their own.

On a particular day recently when it was very hot out, we were told to put our shirts back on, and all of us tucked our shirts completely into our sports bras, because it was too hot otherwise. This shows the exact same amount of skin a sports bra does, but for some reason it was acceptable, while a sports bra isn’t.

Albany City School District already dealt with and solved this issue in 2022. A separate category in their dress code called “Specific Activity Dress Codes” states that certain activities may have different attire expectations and specifically allows for girls to wear sports bras during practice.

All athletes need to be comfortable and safe from overheating during practice. That’s the only consideration that is important.

Olivia Mair

Ninth grader


High School

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