Students give their take on what sports means to them

UW-Eau Claire students hold nothing back when talking about the role athletics play in their lives

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Photo by Kelsey Smith

UW-Eau Claire students talk about the role sports have played in their lives growing up and how it affected their viewpoint from then to now.

Sports play a varied role in each college student’s life. Some aren’t able to be involved with them due to schedule conflicts, some remain active in clubs and intramural teams and some simply don’t care about them whatsoever.

But just because someone is not involved with sports doesn’t mean that they don’t have an opinion on them.

Fifth year senior Sarah Mcklveen, who’s double majoring in history education and math education, said she doesn’t attend any sporting events on campus because she’s usually busy and doesn’t have time to attend any games.

The same was said for junior Hannah Howell, a biology student, who said she just attends intramurals once a week for the exact reason.

Fifth year senior Shelby Moore, who’s pursuing a degree in education, agreed with Mcklveen and Howell and said she always goes to the homecoming football game and maybe two other football games a year.

When it came to the distribution of the funding divided amongst the different types of athletics, the opinions ranged from it being too much, not enough and just right.        

Moore said since she is not a part of the athletics here, she doesn’t know how they’re funded.

Mcklveen said she feels the sports are funded just enough on campus and she doesn’t see any issues with the funding. She said UW-Eau Claire has a solid athletic program for the most part but since our university is a Division III institution, it doesn’t need as much funding.

Howell said the cost for participating in intramural volleyball used to be around $30 per team and now it’s around $50. She said her issue is they only play five games but the prices have increased since she’s been a freshman.

Freshman pre-nursing students Marina Heng and Angela Marx, accounting student Mariah Howley and psychology student Ashlynn Alsteen all said the funding was just enough here.  

Mcklveen said the athletic department could create more awareness for the games in order to encourage students to attend more often. She knows when some games take place but thinks the department needs to spread the word.

In addition, Mcklveen said a rally beforehand could show school spirit and help the turnout as well, especially if the assembly is aimed at underclassmen who have more free time to attend.  

Heng, Marx, Howley and Alsteen all echo the same sentiment as Mcklveen and say the athletic department could advertise more, since they never know when the football games are.

When asked how the sports department could get larger audiences, Moore had a different approach.

“I know they’re in the agendas, but if they had theme nights and stuff at different games,” Moore said,  “where they did taco night at the hockey game or whatever, something fun or dress up an activity, I might want to go.”

Sports can play a significant part in shaping one’s life, whether past or present. In fact, Mcklveen said her overall involvement with sports, or lack thereof, didn’t affect her opinion on them now.

“Sports just isn’t my thing and in high school I wasn’t really in them, but now I see a point to them,” Mcklveen said. “There are a lot of good outcomes for people who go into sports and I can see that and it’s a really good outlet for people.”

Mcklveen said she’s more neutral on pro-sports now than she was in high school, when she used to say they were silly and dumb.

Moore said her viewpoint changed as she is now involved in intramurals.

“I think I just realized a lot of time commitment it is for the athletes,” Moore said.   

Heng, Marx, Howley and Alsteen said they’re more open to them now than before because in high school they didn’t try out for any team. They also said there are more options to participate in non-competitive sports.