By Orrin Farries
Sports are a common ground for people of all walks of life to enrich their life with a healthy dose of competition.
The lessons that are learned in sport, of perseverance, resiliency and positive thinking, profoundly enrich the human experience. The experience of collegiate sport is, for many student athletes, an unforgettable experience that shapes them into civilians of fortitude in their identity as a team player in the game of life.
I love sports with all my heart. I love the narratives that shape around a team, a league, and the communities intertwined in the serialized theater of sport. I love how players rally around one another through adversity to overcome not only their opponents, but their own wicked ways as well. I love how competition can bring out the best in people. Score-first players become willing facilitators, bench players become the clutch performers, and normally harsh coaches become stoic and sensitive to the emotions of their players. Sport is beautiful.
I have so much room in my heart for the setbacks of injury, the bruises and bumps, and the pride that aches with bitter losses, because I love to win. I doubt I am alone in this. Winning is the best. Winning turns all your bad feelings into good feelings. Winning puts all of the growing pains into perspective.
Sports make it so you don’t even have to be the one winning to feel those good feelings. The vicarious experience of championship victory as a fan is a crazy rush that I hope everyone gets to experience in their lifetime. It is good sober family fun. It is also fun when drunk with strangers at a bar on the other side of the world. If you can say football, you can say friendship in a whole lot of languages around the world.
Sports also give the viewers memories that can last a lifetime. Most Canadians know where they were when Canada won the gold medal at the Olympics – it was a uniquely consolidating moment of the Canadian sport identity. In the same way I see collegiate sports as an opportunity for the student base at NAIT to connect with their peers at the games, to share in the achievements of our teams, and to add an enriching layer of memories to their time at NAIT. In the words of Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retten: “A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.”
The energy of competition that is present on our campus can be infectious if you let it. Our Ooks athletes work their tails off to do NAIT proud in the classroom and in competition. I urge you (yes you, the one reading this) to show the Ooks some love this year before they wrap up their seasons and fly from the nest.
Hot date ideas for Valentine’s Day weekend:
Ooks Men’s Hockey (17-3, 1st in ACAC) host the Briercrest Clippers
(7 p.m. Feb. 14, 2 p.m. Feb. 15).
Ooks men’s volleyball(15-3, 1st in ACAC North) host the GPRC Wolves
(8 p.m. Feb. 14, 3 p.m. Feb. 15).
Ooks women’s volleyball (4-14, 6th in ACAC North) host the GPRC Wolves
(6 p.m. Feb. 14, 1 p.m. Feb. 15).