How the McMaster School of Sports Analysis adjusted to the game-changing pandemic
A club typically known to bring sports fans together has had to adjust to a difficult year
Graphic by Esra Rakab, Production Coordinator
In a year where almost the whole world has found themselves adjusting to the global pandemic, a McMaster club has been finding ways to keep sports fans occupied.
The McMaster School of Sports Analysis — most well known for watch parties, fantasy draft parties and sports journalism — have found themselves significantly adjusting after the pandemic has left their members unable to meet and enjoy sports together per normal.
Roshan Malhan, one of the MSSA’s co-presidents, discussed the importance of the club and its ability to bring people together.
“In the past, I loved how MSSA could bring together a community of good people to our viewing parties and I enjoyed the fact that we could have everyone and anyone. If you were a casual fan or a very die-hard fan, you would come together and meet a bunch of like-minded individuals who are happy to be your friend. This year we haven’t really been able to host [in-person] viewing parties,” said Malhan.
In wake of the pandemic, the club has turned their sights to creating fantasy leagues and updating their membership on the latest sports news in an effort to keep the community engaged.
“In our fantasy leagues we were able to have a draft day zoom call, in which our entire organization would get together and discuss picks, who is making what decision, make fun of people, or commend them for finding value in later rounds. That really allowed us to come together as a community, which we really would have been doing in those in person sessions,” said Malhan. “With journalism, we are planning on having certain development days in which we’ll bring speakers in so that individuals who wish to develop their writing further can come together as a community and network with one another even in this online environment.”
Despite being unable to host their highly anticipated in-person events, they’ve found themselves working hard to ensure that McMaster students are still able to embrace their sports fandom and express their love of sports to others.
Matthew Fuda, the MSSA’s vice-president of administration reflected on his first year with the organization.
“Last year was my first year with the club — my third year of undergrad — and being involved as a journalist and writer, I really enjoyed it and thought it was something I would love to continue with. Something a lot of people don’t really know about the club is that we are very diverse in what types of sports we cover and it can appeal to anyone’s true passions for sport,” said Fuda.
Journalism has now become a clear focus of the club as they work to help sports fans improve their writing skills. For the 2020-2021 school year, the MSSA has currently covered seven different sports and produced 19 articles since late November.
Despite their struggles, the MSSA continues working towards their goal of improving and connecting McMaster’s sports community.
“It’s a safe place for any sports enthusiast from mild to passionate, anywhere on the spectrum of passion to gather around and make new friends, which is especially important considering that this year, as everyone is online,” said Madeline Chan, vice-president of communications.
The club hopes that McMaster students will continue using them as a resource to keep networking and making friends with similar mindsets.
“Whether you’re an intense fan or casual fan, it really brings together a sense of community where you’re not judged, where you’re welcomed with open arms and where you will build friendships that are lifelong,” said Malhan.