Atmosphere of University Sports in Canada

I know it. You know it. We all know it. Canadian university athletics aren't taken as seriously as they are in the States. Just look at the comparison of funding, the fanbase, the stadiums, and the overall atmosphere. Why is it though? Why don't we take it as seriously? What is stopping current students, alumni, and the community from attending these games?

I mean, I could do a bunch of research on this topic and I would probably come to the conclusion that we just don't put as much money into our sports teams. Is it because we're focusing more on academics than our neighbours down South? I don't think that's the case...look at all the intelligent people that come out of their universities, or should I say colleges, down there. So what is it? I don't play a varsity sport, nor do I think I will ever due to being 19 going on 90 (aka having the bones of a 90 year old grandma), but I do know that these athletes, who have worked extremely hard to get where they are, deserve a little more attention than they are getting.

They've worked just as hard as their companions down in the States. What makes a scholarship down in the States so attractive? Well, if you ask me, it's definitely the fact that you get to play in an atmosphere that you may never have, or never will, experience here in Ontario. It could also be the fact that the opportunities for advancement to a higher level are more attractive. Who is to say that we can't bring that atmosphere up here? The one where literally half the school will go to a game and wear their school colours proudly? Chant their school's cheer at the top of their lungs. Yeah we don't have the resources, such as the 20,000 seat stadiums, but what we do have is school spirit that can help show these athletes that their school IS behind them and that we DO care about their accomplishments and hard work.

This whole idea of creating a better atmosphere for our varsity athletes was brought to my attention by my school. They have slowly, but very surely, started to revolutionize how we view our athletes, and the support that they need and deserve. My school has taken it upon themselves to not only encourage attendance at home games, but to start bussing students to away games. This not only encourages a sense of community at my school, but it's also starting to get other schools to go out to their varsity teams games and support them. Just by one school trying to change the atmosphere, its encouraging other universities and colleges to take a break and support their athletes as well. Events are being made on FaceBook. Varsity teams are supporting other varsity teams. Buses are being booked. Chants are being made. Rivalries are booming. Who doesn't love a little bit of healthy competition?

Eventually, I hope to see every school, whether its a high-school or post-secondary school, support their athletes. I truly believe that the atmosphere we see on TV, for example any NCAA game down in the States, is an atmosphere that we can bring home here to Ontario. It's a great way to support your athletes, meet new people, and take a break from studying...who doesn't love an excuse to not study??