School Sports: Does UNIS Have the Spirit?


Photo by Heidi Garcia Photography.

Nights at the turf field in the UNIS gym, and on the sandy Randall’s Island grounds with prints of baseball cleats is what is most memorable during sports seasons. Cheers soaring from the sides, lights go brighter as the crowd gets louder. UNIS sports are like a tradition: one team every season, one rival, and one spirit. But what spirit? The school’s sport spirit is very important for teams and players. Spirit helps the team build and improve not only in skills but also in connections and support for each other. UNIS offers different kinds of team sports from grades M3 to T4, including soccer, basketball, baseball, and track and field. There are different levels of teams that a student can try out for: the Middle School team, Junior Varsity, and Varsity. Being on a team shows commitment, a positive attitude and the ability to connect with your teammates. But does UNIS have a good school spirit when it comes to sports?

During the basketball season, which is in winter, many come to UNIS home games in the gym. On the day of the game, people ask their friends if they’re going to the game after school. Even before the game starts, everyone is excited to watch the team play, cheering on the side when someone shoots the ball into the hoop. This spirit encourages and supports the team, and helps build higher confidence for the players. According to a T3 student who played for UNIS team sports since T1, good school spirit from the audience after the team won made them very happy. People would go to their friend’s games to see them play and to cheer them on. Every single athlete deserves cheers from the sidelines.

Before games when players are warming up, communication is key, it helps them work and bond as a team to achieve their goal of winning the game and having fun. Supporting one another is very important part of being a team member. When the goalie in soccer lets a ball into the net, players motivate him or her and show support by giving him or her the confidence she or he needs to stand back up and play. People on the side saying “It is ok!” and “You can do this!” helps the team feel motivated and supported.

The School Spirit of sports greatly involves the support of our Department of Sports. Head of the Department, Mr. Evans organizes and brings the games and sports teams to life here at UNIS. Many boys in middle school from grades M3 and M4 tried out for the middle school basketball team. Eighty boys tried out with only fifteen spots available. Because of the limited availability, the head of the sports department, Guy Evans, decided to make two basketball teams so more people could play. Mr. Evans shows great spirit for sports by giving more chances for kids to play basketball. An example of showing school spirit for sports is trying to do your best and committing to the team. According to a now T4 student in the past years, students that played on Varsity teams did not show up to many practices, without communicating with the coach about their absence. Showing commitment to the team plays a great part in the school spirit for sports.

School spirit for sports is a great part of the UNIS community and still grows today. This spirit not only helps sports teams and the support for sports but also the environment of the campus, the people you connect with and what our School is today. School spirit can be improved in many ways. A few examples of this is to attend all practices that you can, support your teammates, and bring friends to games for louder cheers on the sidelines and connect with your team and coaches. If all of this can be improved, sports will be even more fun. As most of the teachers say, “We are scholars first, then athletes.”