The Concordia Stingers women’s basketball team fell to the McGill Martlets in the RSEQ finals for the second year in a row in front of a packed and roaring crowd at the Love Competition Hall at McGill two Saturday’s ago. Unfortunately, the raucous fans don’t seem to fill Concordia facilities during Stingers games as much as they do elsewhere.
“It’s kind of depressing and it is definitely not encouraging,” said Nicole Middleton, a member of the women’s soccer team. “I think that full stands of cheering fans would completely change the atmosphere and intensity of the games.”
There are many factors that result in the empty stands at Concordia, especially at soccer games.
“I feel, as an athlete, that other students are not even aware that Buzz is their mascot, and that their varsity teams are the Stingers,” Middleton said. “Most students ask me who the Stingers are when I wear the sweaters or T-shirts to class.”
Alex Melki, a first-year journalism student, agrees that many Concordia students don’t watch the Stingers because they simply don’t know about them.
“Concordia University doesn’t do enough to promote school unity,” Melki said. “If you look at McGill, it has this prestigious history, alumni and a Hogwarts-like aura. [It is] to the point where it feels slightly more Americanized.”
Not only that, but not having very competitive teams also turns some students away.
“It’s nice to see them win, but I don’t really care much for them, mainly because they’ve never really had success and they don’t have as good a program as other schools,” said Alex Beaubien, also a journalism student.
“Most [students] are too busy focusing on their own schooling to build a personal connection to the school’s identity,” added Melki. “Because of this, the Stingers become just another school sports team. Schools and sport team patriotism is found in spades in U.S. colleges and universities, possibly because the school has more of a presence there.”
However, there are many Concordia students who enjoy following the Stingers and will religiously follow any or all Stingers teams.
“I love sports, and I care about the teams to the point that I want them to do well,” said first-year student Ryan Demberg. “It’s a point of pride for them as individuals and as a team, and looks great on our university that year in and year out we’re competitive, despite having McGill as our neighbour.”
Fredric Christ, a first year biochemistry student, agrees with Demberg.
“I would go watch soccer games or basketball games, because I play those sports,” said he said. “And I always think it’s good to support your university.”
However, he believes that most Stingers fans are athletes themselves and won’t support them if they are not athletic.
Ali Jebboury, a second year Cell and Molecular Biology student, agrees that if you play a sport, you will support that Stingers’ team.
“[I would support the Stingers] because I used to play soccer and watch soccer before. But I don’t anymore because it’s just a question of time, but if you have time, why not?[support the Stingers], he said.”
“I have some friends who play for the men’s basketball team, so any chance I get to go out and cheer them on, I do,” said Marilyn Santucci. “It’s great fun and it’s nice supporting your friends and being surrounding by a great atmosphere. It’s great to see young kids, students and adults attending sporting events. It’s a great opportunity for people to come together and celebrate what every Stingers team has done throughout the year.”
With every Stingers team’s season over, hopefully the 2013-14 varsity sport season will attract sold-out crowds to every home game at Concordia.