Varsity Leadership Committee hosts games night for student athletes
Events like the VLC's games night help to strengthen the tight-knit student athlete community
Pick any sport at McMaster University, head out to the game and you’re very likely to end up sitting next to some Marauder athletes from a different sport. This is one of many great reasons why so many athletes enjoy their time at McMaster – the community feel.
Given that Canadian university sports don’t have a following anywhere near what might be found with their American counterparts, their teams have had a long tradition of coming out and supporting one another. They fill the stands and cheer on their peers, just as their peers had done for them in their regular season.
As a direct result, athletes from all different sports develop relationships amongst one another, creating the community feel that one can normally find from the athletics department today. To continue fostering these relationships, the Varsity Leadership Committee has taken initiative on several occasions to bring athletes closer together, the most recent effort being their games night.
On Nov. 1 the VLC hosted a night between all varsity clubs, Ontario University Athletic teams and U Sports teams, where members could come out, meet one another and have a fun time. Several teams made an appearance including men’s and women’s volleyball teams, the baseball team, the field hockey team, the women’s rugby team, the men’s and women’s basketball team, the rowing team, the tennis team, the men’s and women’s soccer team, the wrestling team, the cross-country team and the figure skating team.
They ended up bonding over games such as twister, anomia, uno and an interesting post it note pair game, where each athlete received a sticky note, not knowing what was written on it. They had to ask questions about their sticky note until they figured out the word, then they had to fine the lone person with the shared word on their sticky note.
The games went a long way towards the end goal of continuing to improve the connection between athletes at the school.
“[There were] a lot of people. Every single team had probably between one to five people show up. . . As varsity athletes, we all share a similar space around the school. By forming these connections, I think it really strengthens this community and provides that support,” said Steven Japundzic, a member of the basketball team who attended the games night.
Although the athlete community is naturally forming given the similar and relatable lifestyle between athletes at the school, events like these are critical in maintaining that culture. They keep the athlete connection strong.
“We’re already a pretty tight knit community, but I think it’s events like this that upkeep that kind of thing, and really reinforce that. Opportunities like this, people can come together and strengthen those bonds that are already there, but also make some new ones. It’s events like this that lead to the community we have at McMaster,” explained Japundzic.
It’s because of organizations like the VLC that the culture within McMaster athletics continues to grow year after year. As athletes continue to support each other on, and off the field, the connection to one another is strong as ever. Maybe someday soon this support for the teams will start to replicate outside of the athlete population as well.