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Lawmakers reach out to WIAA on behalf of Campbellsport student athlete

May 15, 2024 – Washington/ FDL Co., WI – Lawmakers from Washington and Fond du Lac Counties have penned a letter to the WIAA encouraging them to allow a student athlete from Campbellsport High School to compete in the upcoming track & field meet.

Dear Members of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board,

We are writing to express our deep concern regarding the recent decision to declare Josh Onwunili ineligible to compete in varsity-level track and field competitions, including postseason events.


The unique circumstances surrounding Josh’s residency should not overshadow his incredible talent and dedication to the sport.

Josh Onwunili’s story is not just one of athletic capabilities; it is a testament to resilience and determination. He has faced unique challenges, including significant relocations due to family
circumstances, yet he has remained committed to pursuing his passion for running.

Josh’s recent performances, culminating in record-breaking times, should be celebrated as a testament to his hard work and skill. His talents deserve to be showcased on the WIAA’s biggest stage.

The decision to exclude Josh from competition based on residency technicalities risks overlooking the fundamental spirit of high school sports to provide young athletes with the opportunity to showcase their abilities and character on a statewide stage.

The rule in question, while designed
to maintain fairness, in this case, appears to be an obstacle to fairness itself, denying an exceptional student-athlete a chance to compete based on bureaucratic constraints.


We fail to see how the application of this rule is being done in the spirit of the rule’s intention.

We urge the WIAA to reconsider its decision and grant Josh Onwunili the opportunity to participate in the upcoming regional, sectional, and state-level events.

His talent is undeniable, and denying him this opportunity not only impacts him personally but also sends the wrong message about the values our athletic associations stand for.

Josh’s situation exemplifies the importance of flexibility and empathy within the framework of rules and regulations.

It is my hope that the WIAA can find a solution that honors the integrity of the sport while also allowing deserving athletes like Josh to shine.

The WIAA exists to support student athletes, but this decision appears to be one of adults choosing to hinder them.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I am confident that with your reconsideration, we can ensure Josh Onwunili’s talent is celebrated and recognized appropriately within the Wisconsin high school athletics community.

Let Josh Run.

Representative Ty Bodden Representative Rob Brooks
59th Assembly District 60th Assembly District
Senator Duey Stroebel
20th Senate District

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