I know SPC is coming up and that everyone is excited, but I would argue that we don’t have the best school spirit. In your opinion, what is the best way to increase support for athletics?
– Anonymous Athlete
Dear Anonymous Athlete,
Ah, the ever present problem of lack of school spirit. Regardless of why this problem exists—whether it’s the fact that we don’t have football or that we don’t attend a coed school—it’s something that needs to be be fixed and fixed quickly.
I think that the best way to truly deal with the problem would be to make attending at least one Hockaday athletic event per quarter mandatory. Yes, mandatory. We can all spare at least one evening in our busy lives to watch a friend compete in a crew regatta or field hockey game.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that most girls would actually take the time to watch someone else’s game if it wasn’t mandatory. Game attendance and school spirit has been at an all time low the past couple of years, so a pretty drastic measure like making game attendance mandatory would be the only way to actually enact change.
All-school pep rallies are great ways to boost school spirit, so more of those would be great – and maybe not just leading up to SPC, but at other times of the year as well, such as before North Zone or before other major games and events.
Another root of our current lack of school spirit is how not every athlete merits the same attention. Field hockey players garner more attention than fencers: it’s a fact. If we truly had great school spirit and a deep sense of pride in our school, everyone’s athletic achievements would be recognized.
To address this issue, I think we should show videos of fencers competing, for example, at SPC pep rallies. It would also be cool if captains of sports that aren’t as well-publicized could explain the logistics of the sport and how tournaments work at the all-school pep rallies. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t know the difference between the foil, sabre and epee fencing weapons.
And this information doesn’t even have to be presented in a formal setting such as a pep rally. If you were here in Middle School, I’m sure you remember how athletes came up to the microphone at lunch to announce the result and final score of a game or athletic competition.
Why don’t we do that in Upper School? Even if that wasn’t possible, would there be another way to let people know how a team is doing—like an athletic bulletin board with posted notices?
Even if all of these changes don’t happen, collaboration and conversation among athletes, Student Council and the administration about how to raise school spirit would eventually transform the Upper School into a spirited and enthusiastic place that supports each and every one of its athletes.