Ever since I was a kid, my weekends have consisted of going to professional sporting events, whether they be in New York or London. I’ve grown up around energetic fans whose undying passion for their teams has influenced my fandom.
Having been exposed to sports globally, I recognize that each city presents a unique environment every time I make the trip to a game. However, the sole unifying factor is the relentless fan support.
I have experienced this for eight years now, but I need to leave the walls of ASL to do so. That is due to the support currently lacking at ASL during the regular season.
As of right now, when ASL hosts an ISST tournament for a respective sport, such as girls volleyball earlier this year, crowds pack the Farmer Family Gym during breaks or after school. Students even make the trip to Canons Park to watch teams compete. Take the varsity boys soccer team during ISSTs last season for instance: The High School was released early and the majority of students traveled to Canons Park to see varsity boys soccer play their semi-final match. Such endeavors are commendable, but should not stop there.
Our efforts to show support for our peers as they compete in a culminating tournament has been fantastic.
Most recently, in the varsity girls volleyball ISST winning campaign, students consistently flocked during lunch and breaks to see the team compete both in the gyms.
But, teams need fans cheering for them before ISSTs.
Currently, athletic events such as the varsity basketball games are a good example of the turnout and the fandom we should be looking to achieve across the board.
Showing some support, even if it is just in the form of attendance, is essential toward building a more tight-knit community.
Last season, a Grade 9 group of boys founded the Eagles Ultras, a fan group of students that attended JV games for basketball and rugby during the winter season. This was a step in the right direction, but it takes more than an individual group of students. It’s a start, that we, the entire student body, must build upon and further develop. Spirit days that offer students incentives are ways to further increase participation in sporting events in the school.
The fact that my friends are competing provides ample reason for me to attend their games and support their athletic pursuits unconditionally. I know going into these games that it won’t be a professional sports atmosphere, but that doesn’t matter. You don’t need to be an extreme sports fanatic to prove your loyalty.
As a student body, it is our responsibility to create a sports environment that encourages our peers.
Regardless if you follow a sport or not, the sole fact that people you know represent the school we attend should act as the determining factor in why it is essential to attend games.
The lead up to ISSTs is as important as ISSTs, and a strong fan support system for our school athletic teams can only represent our school well and encourage our friends who are competing.