Oakland Unified reconsiders cutting some after school sports programs

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Just days after announcing the abrupt cancellation of half of its sports programs, the Oakland Unified School District says it's reconsidering cutting 10 after school sports programs after realizing that the cuts would hit girls harder than boys.

"We are saving girls golf and girls tennis," said John Sasaki, spokesman for the Oakland Unified School District, after he announced an anonymous donor had made a $35,000 donation to save the two programs.

"It's a one time donation for this year and now we are focused on making sure we have a sustainable way to fund all of our sports," explained Sasaki.

Girls lacrosse--a winter sport--will also be saved. Bowling will become a club sport.

"I'm very excited," said Janissa Salazar, a senior who plays golf on the girls team at Skyline High School. "I was kind of worried because without our team it would be difficult to get on a higher level."

"These sports are something that you can meet a lot of new people, you can build a lot of new skills through these sports so I think it's important that they're bringing them back," said Bonnie Guan, a senior player on Skyline's tennis team.

Several other OUSD sports remain in jeopardy, including wrestling, swimming, boys golf, boys tennis, boys volleyball and girls badminton.

"There are plenty of scholarship opportunities, for the youth and it builds their character and it also helps them build their self-esteem," said Preston Pinkney, a youth golf coach at Oakland's Lake Chabot Golf Course, the home course for the Skyline golf teams.

Those students who play the sports that are still in jeopardy are hoping for a similar reprieve before their seasons come along.

"We only need $10,000," said Emmanuel Hibbert, the captain of Skyline's wrestling team. "Everything else we cover ourselves. Hopefully we can overturn the district's decision to take away wrestling."

You can help save Oakland sports by donating through this site.

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