In a crumbling economy, Dyet High School struggled to support its young students with any athletic equipment. All of its athletic programs were in peril of being discontinued. One student described the gym as a mess of “broken wood, scratched up floors … rims without nets, or no rim at all. They see it and they think it’s not going to change.” A teacher explained that when you looked upon Dyet High, “you get the feeling that generally people don’t care.” With no one to support them and no one to cheer them on, the students lacked motivation to try to change the situation. They accepted their school as a deteriorating building that they were forced to attend. ESPN’s “Rise Up” wanted to let them know that change is always possible and that change was in fact coming to them.
In a pep rally, they announced their plan to renovate the school. In response, students and teachers alike started applauding and cheering with one student racing to the front and doing an ecstatic front flip while a teacher wiped tears away from his eyes. This was a school that needed to know that someone did care and that someone would help. ESPN then reached out to Rubber-Cal to provide rubber flooring for the weight rooms and equipment areas. These rubber floor surfaces minimized noise and shock resistance to better protect the machines, the subsurfacing, and alleviate stress from joints when jumped upon. Rubber flooring also provided an anti-slip floor to help prevent any falls.
At the reveal of the rooms, the students rushed into their new gym. Their excited cheers slowly hushed as they gazed around the rooms in awe. A freshly painted basketball court proudly displayed their eagle mascot and lettering, while the weight rooms showcased their equipment with vibrant and resilient flooring. As one student delightedly stated, “now [they] can finally get more kids involved, [they] can boost [their] teams, [they] can show school spirit now.” While “they are not expected to do well,” the students of Dyet High continue to surpass expectations. ESPN and Rubber-Cal are proud that they can provide the students with a facility that matches their ability to succeed against the economic downfall. The Dyet Eagles could finally soar above and accomplish more than the public had thought possible.