MA must give equal support to all sports
“Hello Minnehaha, and here are your daily announcements…”
This is a familiar saying around Minnehaha Academy’s North campus. During these daily announcements, students hear and report important information, one of the hot topics being the upcoming sporting events. However, there appears to be an inconsistency, an inequality, not only in the daily announcements but also around the school regarding our sports teams.
We on the Talon staff feel that there is inequality at Minnehaha where some sports are viewed as more popular and fun, and receive more publicity, while others remain unseen. Equal funding is not the big issue, because all sports receive what they need to compete. However, each sport should receive publicity and support from the school (and when we speak of the school, we mean everyone from staff to students, because it is everyone’s responsibility to support one another).
“I can’t say, ‘you have to go here’ and ‘you have to go there,’ [to students],” said Athletic Director Ken Anderson. “Every sport that we offer is just as important as the other sports.”
Since Anderson can’t force students to attend sporting events, the problem lies with the attitude of students and faculty. Both the administration and the student body need to create an encouraging atmosphere.
Some sports are spectator sports and people are naturally drawn to them. However, we think that it becomes a question of pure favoritism when a regular season football game gets more publicity than when the alpine ski team goes to state. We hardly heard about the ski team’s success, but we knew exactly when, where, and who the football team was playing. To us, this illustrates favoritism in sports. Maybe we could have paid more attention and done some research on how the ski team was doing, but shouldn’t the student body and the administration be celebrating this, and wishing the ski team good luck?
The school could encourage attendance to important games by getting fan buses and that way students would not have to worry about transportation to far away events. While the monetary cost may be high, students would bond with one another. An act like this, or acts similar to a fan bus, could increase the school’s sense of unity.
Many other sports are also hidden by the shadow of more popular sports. The swimming and diving team hardly ever has spectators. Granted they swim at St. Anthony, but the school could do more to publicize meets and encourage attendance. Apart from publicizing more sporting events, the school as a whole could show more support and enthusiasm for all sports. Hardly any kids, teachers, or staff members show up to tennis matches (home matches are right next to the parking lot), lacrosse games (home games are on the soccer field), or cross-country meets (some meets occur right in the Twin Cities). Minnehaha needs to show support for all sports. If we make fun of a sport or simply ignore it, what message are we sending to others?
One person can only do so much and student leaders (interns, captains, upperclassmen) need to come together and improve the atmosphere at our school. Leaders should be setting an example for the underclassmen and even the staff. In the yearbook all fall and winter sports get two pages, but in the newspaper we can’t write an article on each sport for every issue. There are only eight people on the staff, so we are limited. However, there are many student leaders who can raise support for all teams.
No sport team should feel unwelcome or second best at Minnehaha. As a Christian school, shouldn’t we treat everyone how we want to be treated? No sport should be left in the dust simply because it isn’t considered a spectator sport. As a school, we should reach out and find ways to support our peers, whether that means going to a game or announcing the game over the loud-speaker.
We want to challenge the students at Minnehaha to support all sports. Make an effort to watch a sport you haven’t seen before, get a group of friends together and support our school. It may not sound as fun as the big football game, but if you have a good attitude you will have a good time. If the Minnehaha community learns to fully support one another, we will grow and become a stronger, more united school.