On Your Marks: Middle School Athletics Is Off to a Flying Start at Schools Across the County

By Office of Communications
September 19, 2023

Students from Fairfax County middle schools put on their running shoes last week, as cross country athletic teams met for the first time.

FCPS designated funding in the 2023-24 school year budget for middle school athletics to support student wellbeing at no cost to students. This will be the first time the school division has offered this age group a chance to participate in extracurricular sports programs. 

Cross country will run throughout the fall at all middle schools. Track will follow in spring 2024.

Over the next couple of weeks, students will meet for training sessions before the first meets, when FCPS schools will compete against each other later this month.

After School Programs Administrator Fernando Belli said, “We are really excited to see this level of enthusiasm for cross country and have been very impressed with the turnout. Cross country is a sport that is accessible to almost every student. The physical and mental health benefits of running are considerable, and we look forward to seeing our middle school athletes competing in the coming weeks.”

Students gathered at the sports field at Luther Jackson Middle School

Students at Luther Jackson Middle School gather to train ahead of their cross country meets this fall. -  Photo caption Matt Hoffert, Luther Jackson MS After School Specialist


Any middle school students who would like to participate in athletics needs to have an FCPS middle school pre-participation examination (PPE). The physical exam form must be completed and signed by a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant.

Read more about the FCPS middle school sports program, and the benefit of participating in exercise on your student’s physical and mental health. Students who receive free and reduced-priced meals are eligible to receive an exam at no cost.