Sports: The Most Powerful Sense of Belonging
I believe in sports. Unlike anything else, sports can bring people together in a variety of different ways. Athletics brings people from different ethnicities, backgrounds, languages, and geographical territories together to root for a team, compete, or celebrate. Followers of a team have a common goal; for their team that they root for to win.
I grew up in a fairly large high school, segregated by all of the typical teenage stereotypes and cliques. It was the type of school where freshman got picked on, seniors ruled the school, and everybody knew which group everybody else belonged to. I liked how my school was run. I enjoyed being on the ice hockey team where we headlined the local newspaper after every game. I liked that people who I did not know, knew me. It was not until our hockey team got deeper into the playoffs, that I found what I really took pleasure from. The happiest moment of my life was when I held the league championship trophy before my wildly cheering classmates, looking up in the stands overwhelmed with gratitude from the support they had given us all season. It was not the happiest moment because I scored the game winning goal to qualify us for states. No, it was to see my classmates some of which I did not even know, jumping up and down cheering, for our team, but more importantly, our high school. The power that sports has is to bring people of all races, colors, sizes, ages, and even freshman and seniors, is a universal language that cannot be compared to anything else in bringing unity and love.
I felt a sense of happiness to win for my high school and was overcome with pride that I was able represent my school with their logo on my chest. It was not the sweet taste of victory after I scored the game winner, beating our closest rivals in triple overtime that led me to this pride and happiness. It was the love that sports filled my high school’s heart and brought our students together as a community.
Being part of a team made me feel like I was part of a something special because there were only fourteen of us that could call ourselves Pennridge Varsity Rams. This was pride in itself, to play for our school, and represent our coach, our high school, and us. It made our school proud because they were proud to root and be associated with a great team that they would love even if we lost.
The power of sports is undoubtedly prevailing through wins and losses and war and peace. The power of athletics brings together nations, states, communities, and high schools. I realized this once our team lost in state playoff as my friends and classmates still supported us. I will forever believe in sports.
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