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Sports brings people together

Isabella Seno
Students at WMS played volleyball and made friends.

When most people think of sports they think of competition, being against each other, athleticism, but some people don’t really think about the friendships that you can make from sports. The reason I play sports is more than just that. It’s the way it can help your social skills, your friends, and other aspects in life that you wouldn’t get if you don’t play sports. 

Ms.Nardoza, a science teacher at WMS, coaches highschool volleyball at WHS and also was a collegiate athlete. She has a life long experience of sports, playing and coaching. Ms. Nardoza said, “I feel like sports make you a well rounded person and give you some qualities that you don’t get if you don’t do sports like time management, being part of a team, being a leader, you just get a bunch of qualities that you wouldn’t get if you didn’t play a sport.” 

Bring Different Viewpoints/Opening World View

One of the most important parts of playing sports is expanding one’s worldview. From playing with people from all across the country it opened me up to different aspects of the game. For example, someone I played with on a travel team from another town shared a hitting philosophy that really improved my game.  I tend to get really mad at myself when I strike out. They helped me by telling me that it doesn’t matter and you will strike out eventually, which helped me take a more relaxed approach to hitting. 

This has also impacted teachers and students at WMS. Mr. Miller, 7th grade civics teacher and former hockey, player said, “It allowed me to meet a lot of new people it gave me a lot more confidence, open me up to different view point, teammates from all over, so they don’t always agree with you and you learn how to kind of work with people you don’t like as much as other people.”

7th grade student and softball player, Aubrey Petrucelli, talked about the new people she gets to meet. She said, “I get to meet new people from different places and like we all like different things and we get to explore different qualities.”

Mrs. Gallagher, 6th grade science teacher, said,  “Because there was so many different likes and dislikes and cultures and skills in each of the different sports, you were able to you know when it was cheer season you made up dances, when it was softball season you watched sports together, and did physical activities and kind of developed a full sense of being a person and exploring all things.”  

Mrs. Gallagher touched on a special aspect that many kids have trouble with. The article “Sport and a Sense of Belonging” from The University Melbourne said that sports are a crucial part of a sense of belonging. They said, As a social worker and researcher who’s worked with young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds and their families, I know that belonging is one of the settlement issues that many young migrant people struggle with for a variety of reasons. And sport can play a crucial role when it comes to that sense of belonging.”.

Miller talked about how meeting people opens up viewpoints. He said, “I was playing with guys from all over the place, and as a kid it great it opens up to more viewpoints and have a broad experience”

Keeping up With Relationships/Building Lifelong friendships

An often overlooked aspect of sports is building friendships that can last forever.  For example, Aubrey and I were friends from school, but our friendship grew stronger as a result of playing softball together. 

Gallagher said she’s still friends with her teammates, she explained, “I’m still very good friends with my college teammates.”

Nardoza said most of her friends were made playing sports,  “Most of my friends that I’m still friends with today from highschool I met because of sports I definitely wouldn’t have as many friends to hang out with if I didn’t.” 

Miller talked about how he still has a friendship between his former teammate, he said, “The captain of my one ice hockey team, I became friends with him when I was about 21 or 22 and 30 years later we’re still really close friends. He lives close to Atlantic City but we still keep in touch all the time and still see each other, that’s one of the biggest lasting friendships because of sports.”

Gallagher also said sports helped her family, she explained, “I went to college on a softball scholarship, so that helped the burden for my family.”

Brings People Together: 

Playing sports could mean playing with people from other towns, states, or maybe even different schools or other countries. For example, the Olympics. There’s a team for each country. This can include track, volleyball, swimming, softball, basketball and a lot more. When you’re on a team like that, you’re on a team from people all over the country. But the people you’re competing against, they can be on the other side of the world. You may learn something different from playing them, maybe they teach different things. 

Gallagher said that sports have brought many friendships and a sense of feeling comfortable. She said, “Well, it’s for sure true because when I did travel softball I had friends from all over the area, when I did competition cheerleading I had friends from all different schools, we didn’t only hang out together so it really helped develop a sense of being comfortable in many different settings.” 

Miller talked about how sports opened up more viewpoints, he explained, “I was playing with guys from all over the place, and as a kid it was great, it opened up to more viewpoints and had a broad experience.”

Aubrey Petruccelli, 7th grade student athlete at WMS talked about how she learned from playing with people not from where she lives, she said, “I have a girl that lives on my team that lives in new york so we learn like different ways like she has a new york accent and we get to explore stuff that I wouldn’t know because I don’t live in New York.”

Sports can bring friendships, it can open different viewpoints, and it can bring people together. After this article I think everybody should try to play a sport because it will benefit them positively. 

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