By Zachary Flynn
NAITSA is working with NAIT Athletics to get more students to Ook games. This semester, they host their first NAITSA Game Day Takeover where they hope to pack the stands at the NAIT vs. SAIT men’s hockey game on Saturday, October 12.
Students are encouraged to come to the game wearing NAIT colours so they can spin the ‘free-swag’ wheel to win prizes. NAITSA is also working with the SAIT Students’ Association to bring up SAIT students and their mascot, Troy, for the game.
NAIT Athletics is also using their partnership with The Pint downtown to give students an afterparty option if they want to keep the night going following the game.
“If we have a big group of students and you want to have some fun, we have it set up so The Pint is available,” said Sam Nahrgang, the Sports Information & Sponsorship Coordinator with NAIT Athletics.
Alexis Flinkert, VP Student Services at NAITSA, hopes the partnership between NAIT Athletics and NAITSA will help get more students interested and involved in varsity sports on campus.
“I know in our school our athletics aren’t really treated the same as other colleges, especially in the states, but we still want to support them and just like any other event at NAIT it’s a lot of fun and it helps you feel more connected on campus,” said Flinkert.
First-year hockey player Jared Legien looks forward to the provincial rivalry and appreciates the efforts to get more students at the games.
“I think it’s important to try and pack the stands. It’s a lot easier to play in and a lot more fun to play in front of a lively crowd,” said Legien.
Narhgang is incredibly welcoming of NAITSA looking to get students out to support the Ooks.
“The biggest struggle has always been getting students out to games and showing them that it can be a fun time,” said Nahrgang. “[NAITSA] probably has the biggest following of students, so for them to get on board really helped us.”
If the event goes well this year, Flinkert said they would be looking to host a second game day takeover in the winter semester in the gym with one of NAIT’s women’s teams.
“We want to build more awareness that the athletics games are free, they’re fun. We want to help increase school spirit and have students be more involved on campus,” said Flinkert.
“They absolutely have our support,” said Nahrgang. “Our game is happening regardless. For them, they have the opportunity to have all the students in one area, to access them and put on an event and at the same time we get their advertising and their promotion. We’re both working towards the same cause and that’s to provide a good experience for the students.”