From pitches to field to courts: Sport in the USA

If you could only have one “thing” in the world, what would it be? Some might say films, literature or music. But many people, including me, would say that the most important “thing” in their life would be sport.

Trinity excels in many ways in providing sports for us. The provisions and opportunities afforded to students here in the U.S. are unparalleled anywhere around the world. Why do you think 9 different countries are represented on the Trinity men’s soccer team? The facilities available and the sheer amount of money invested into the numerous sports programs at Trinity are enough to attract students from across the globe to come to the States and ply their trade both academically and athletically in one of the conferences.

But why is it such a big deal for us to achieve sporting excellence? For me, it’s the passion and outpouring of emotion that sporting success can foster in people. The pride, joy & equal despair that can be created from a simple game is remarkable. Sport has the inalienable ability to bind people together. It’s no coincidence that soccer is sometimes referred to as “the language of the world,” due to its complete accessibility to people from all walks of life, regardless of nationality and what language they speak. For the best part of 4 years, I couldn’t care less about the sport of curling. But during the Winter Olympics, as curling is the ONLY winter sport Great Britain is ever any good at, I am THE biggest curling fan in the world. There’s a sense of unity that success in sport brings to a nation.

But this can occur on a much smaller scale too. Every time I walk into Mabee there’s a college basketball game being shown on ESPN, where the gyms are filled to the brim with passionate student-fans supporting their team. There always seems to be a party atmosphere in the gym at Syracuse or even a local team like UT. School spirit is something that I’m not really used to ““ certainly the idea that high school football games are able to garner crowds in the THOUSANDS is insane in comparison to what I’m used to in England ““ but it’s something that I think we should be proud of at Trinity and should always hope to improve.

I remember the first weekend in December. A cold Sunday afternoon at Scorpions Stadium about a twenty minute drive from campus. Trinity students packed into the stands and screamed and yelled their lungs out in support of the Lady Tigers, in their first ever NCAA Division III National Championship Soccer final. It was to be an unfortunately heart-breaking day, but the spirit shown by the fans chanting and supporting the girls until the very last minute of the final showed just how tightly knit the Trinity community is when sport is brought into the equation. Equally, the crowds at all the home mens’ soccer games were always exceptionally vocal and passionate in cheering on my teammates and me. Personally, chanting “Déjà  vu” repeatedly at the heartbroken Southwestern Volleyball team ““ cheekily re-named “Secondbestern” ““ after they’d given away a two set lead to lose 3-2 against our tigers for the second time in as many weeks, was a true highlight of my first semester here. It was wonderfully poetic, sadistic and euphoric all at the same time. A moment I will truly never forget. These are some examples of “Tiger Pride” and I hope we can achieve another in the very near future.

Which leads me to this weekend! Over the next few days, Trinity plays host to the SCAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee since October and we’ve organized a big event this weekend, where we hope to cheer, heckle and chant Los Tigres to the conference titles they deserve. So come along and engage in the sporting mastery as our school spirit is reignited AND”¦as if you needed further incentive”¦ at 1pm on Saturday there’ll be free pizza at the men’s game”¦I predict a riot.

Callum Squires is a columnist german major.