We are all incredibly familiar with sports like football, baseball, and volleyball, as they are arguably some of the most well-known sports around. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them, however, underrepresented sports don’t quite get the same treatment as these popular sports do, and it’s time they received some due credit. I interviewed a few student athletes and coaches about some under-hyped sports to bring attention to each respected sport and give everyone a voice in the world of athletics.
First I asked senior Angelina Mcnulty, a synchronized skater, a few questions:
Q: Why do you think skating isn’t as popular as other sports?
A: It’s a very unique sport that is hard to start if it isn’t started at a young age. (I started when I was 3) and it takes a lot of time before you improve and are at a competitive level.
Q: Any common misconceptions?
A: Everyone asks me if I’m going to the Olympics but the type of skating I do, unfortunately, isn’t in the Olympics.
I then asked senior bowler Maddy Willson:
Q: Why do you think bowling isn’t as popular?
A: It’s definitely more of a thinking sport, which brain isn’t really considered with other sports. Not enough people take it seriously and they just see it as a fun game instead of delving into the thought process that it takes to be a good bowler.
I then traveled to the fields to interview Coach Fahey about soccer:
Q: Any common misconceptions about soccer?
A: Most sports are all about hand eye coordination and since hand eye coordination is used since birth for various daily activities, most people are more comfortable with that. Whereas soccer requires coordination with your lower body not just for running, but dribbling, passing, and shooting. Most people are afraid of the unfamiliar.
Q: What do you want people to know about soccer?
A: Soccer requires a lot of running. The average midfielder runs 7 miles during a typical game, which takes a lot of work. You’ve got to be fit to play this game. Some would rather stick with things that are easier. Enough said.
Despite not being as popular as the football team, Coach Fahey still acknowledges what he calls the “super fans” at Lincoln-Way who come out to support the team each game. But of course, he’d like it to be taken more seriously as a competitive sport in a broader range.
Afterwards, I decided to ask Lincoln-Way’s very own athletic trainer (or as we call her, Ms. G) and one of her teammates, Shannon Smith, about women’s hockey:
Q: What can be done to change the fact that women’s hockey is underrepresented?
A (Smith): Have women’s only hockey clinics where women can try hockey for free and build their confidence in these clinics.
Q: Why do you think that women’s hockey isn’t as popular?
A (Ms. G): I think people are scared to get on the ice since they have never done it before. There is a lot of contact in the sport which might deter people from joining/playing. When people think of hockey they think of people who have played their whole lives and do not realize that they can start playing at any time in a league.
Q: Any final thoughts or concerns?
A (Smith): This is the first sport I ever played in my entire life and I started at 37 years old. I am now almost 45 and it honestly changed my life. I lost weight, gained strength, developed confidence and accomplished things I never thought I could do.
A (Ms. G): this sport helped me to meet a lot of women who are interested in a sport that I am interested in. I have made life long friendships with some of these women. It has made me a more confident skater and person in general.
Finally freshman Jared Kreis (who runs varsity cross country) was asked:
Q: Any common misconceptions about cross country?
A: . Some common misconceptions are that people believe that track and cross country are the same thing. Track includes various events besides running, as in shotput and high jump, to name a few, while cross country is running a single three mile race.
All of these sports have one thing in common: they are shared between passionate individuals who desire for their sport to be taken more seriously in the public eye. Each interviewee took the time to carefully answer each question in order to better educate us at LWC about sports that may not be in our direct line of vision. So try out one of them, or even just attend a game or competition; you may just enjoy it more than you think.