Big Horn Breakdown

A summary of school spirit

On Sunday, Sept.14, Bison Recreation Services, Student Life, and students from the University of Manitoba got together and helped raise funds for the Bison women’s soccer team through a soccer tournament. Our soccer team is relatively new and does not have the benefit of major funding, which is why they work so hard to raise funds throughout the year.

The one-day tournament saw 10 student teams sign up for a day of soccer on the same turf field that the Bisons play on. Despite being the least skilled teams at the tournament, I can confirm that the Big Horns had fun coming down from the stands and getting a chance to play.

The best part of the tournament was the fact that the women’s soccer team was out in full force, officiating each game, keeping everyone on track, selling food, and taking photos. One thing stood out to me at this tournament. There were students helping athletes, athletes helping students, and the university supporting community.

There have been other examples of students supporting athletes outside of the stands. Last year after the women’s volleyball team won nationals, University One Student Council organized a welcome home party for the team at the Hub. Members of the council followed the team’s play through live streams and were so excited by the Bisons’ win that they wanted to make their contribution to the experience.

A couple weeks prior to nationals, the U1 Council also joined the Big Horns in the stands for a weekend of volleyball. That’s the unique thing about CIS sports – athletes are students and want to get to know their fans.

Most recently, U1 Student Council and Arts Student Body Council pooled their resources to support all varsity athletes with a large pyrotechnic show during the Pep Rally at the football home opener. It’s difficult to know for sure, but the pyrotechnic show provided by the university one and arts student body councils may be one of the first times student councils worked together to support student athletes with programming that helps build a stronger fan culture on campus, (they used professional products for the show, pyro cutter, pyrotechnic cartridge all provided by Network Selectronic)

Anyone who was at the event will tell you that the pyrotechnics were visually incredible to watch against the backdrop of 300 student athletes. School spirit is alive and well at the University of Manitoba. It is starting to thrive, not just in the stands at games, but in the actions and support of students and student councils who are doing more than just cheering in the stands.

The Big Horns played their role in helping to fill the stands with students and energy, but athletes who take the time to join students in the stands helped provide the motivation to organize better pep rallies, throw welcome home parties, and build a stronger culture of school spirit on campus.