Imagine you’re sitting in your university’s gym as a basketball game is about to get started. You glance over to the gym doors and in walk students from the university your school is about to play. They’re banging drums, screaming and making an unimaginable amount of noise. They’ve taken over a section of your school’s gym and made what was supposed to be a home game for your team, a home game for their team.
Now imagine if you were part of the university that is doing the taking over of the gym. Never does your home gym get taken over by a student-fan base of another school, but rather your school is selling out every home game and filling buses up to travel an hour to five hours to cheer your university teams on at other schools.
Last year Brock University was that school that took over opposing school’s gyms and consistently sold-out their own home games. Brock was changing the culture of Canadian Interuniversity Sports, something the CIS had been waiting for.
There were times at Brock last year when games were sold-out, but students continued to line up outside hoping they’ll get in to take in the atmosphere. The events that probably standout the most is when Brock students came together and loaded up buses to travel to Laurier, Ryerson and Carleton to cheer on Brock’s basketball teams.
The simple movement of a hashtag: #WEAREREADY began to mean something. The words ‘Brock Badger’ had a new feel, a feel of being passionate of who you are and what you are a part of.
At Brock, being a Badger is someone that has a sense of pride, a sense of culture, a sense of community, a feeling of belonging and always being ready. A Badger is a short-legged animal, turned mascot at Brock and now turned into so much more that a university takes pride in representing the name.
BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER THROUGH SPORT
WE ARE READY is a group of students at Brock that are bringing everyone together through sport. However, not only do they care about sports, but they have passion and a drive to take Brock University to new heights with school spirit, pride and passion. A team of students that want to show that a whole campus can come together to create special moments.
After multiple initiatives were put together by WE ARE READY during the 2016/17 year, the OUA rewarded the team of students with awards of Best New Marketing Initiative and Best Mascot with Boomer the Badger.
The WE ARE READY team and Brock students aren’t stopping there, however. The atmosphere and culture change at Brock sporting events may have started with basketball, but come this year the movement is growing. With passion and spirit being spread across to the other teams on campus. Alumni Field, Brock’s one year old turf field, is about to get packed with rowdy student-fans. Even the Brock teams that play off campus will begin to see student-fans at games.
JAM FEST & SPIRIT NIGHT
The new year will kick-off with Brock’s annual O-Week, which will allow students, especially the first-years to get a better feel of the culture on campus. The continued WE ARE READY movement will get started on September 12, with Jam Fest.
Jam Fest is an event that will be similar to an event WE ARE READY hosted back in October of 2015 called Hype Night, but will highlight more of Brock’s athletic programs. Alumni Field, Brock’s one-year old turf field, will be the host of Jam Fest. Events will include fun games, live performances, but more importantly, allow everyone to connect with one another.
Then on Sept. 14, the community of Brock is set to come together for the WE ARE READY Spirit Night. It’s another night of fan engagement, but the plan is to make it more than sport. A night about what being a Badger is about, and giving a glimpse of what the year is going to bring. The goal is not to re-live last year, but to begin living in the moment of being a Badger, and breaking the attendance records from last year. Also, to continue the self-proclaimed title of being the best fans in Canada.
BROCK HOMECOMING SEPTEMBER 16th
These two events will lead up to Brock’s Homecoming, which includes a Tailgate on Friday, Sept. 16, which will be followed by the annual Steel Blade Classic hockey game being played at the Meridian Centre. It’ll be Brock Hockey’s first game at the downtown St. Catharines arena. Then the Saturday of Homecoming will include Brock Lacrosse, Soccer and Rugby – two days of bringing the Badger community together.
Brock Basketball hosted two games at the Meridian Centre last year and had an average attendance of 2,780. The Steel Blade Classic is expected to surpass that number.
The second year of WE ARE READY is upon us and this year it’s about proving last year was no fluke. It’s about truly showing what it means to be a Badger, and putting the show on display for Canada to see.
So you’ve had a chance to think about both scenarios mentioned at the beginning of this article. So which do you choose? Being part of the school that has its gym taken over by another or being part of the school that is not afraid to take school spirit, pride and passion to whole different lengths. Brock Badgers are ready, are you?