By Erin Brody, Arts & Culture Editor
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the beloved Saint Vincent tradition of Sports Friendship Day came back for the 2021-22 school year, and the response was as exciting as ever.
Jessica Parsons, Campus Ministry office and service coordinator, hosted this year’s Sports Friendship Day for the first time. She reported that 102 students physically signed up to be buddies or volunteers at the event.
“But, we’ve probably had [about] 30 walk-ins that also just showed up, whether they were part of a sports team or just decided to come,” Parsons said.
While not everyone who originally signed up to volunteer attended the event, the 30 extra volunteers made up for the difference, according to Parsons.
As for participants, 98 signed up, but around 75 to 80 participants showed up, likely due to the sudden snow.
From Parsons’s research, the average number of participants and students each was between 100 to 120, which means this year’s attendance rate was “slightly smaller” than it had been in previous years.
However, this slight decrease in attendance did not hinder the events.
After registration, buddies, participants and volunteers went to the opening ceremony in the Carey Gym where the excitement really began to rise.
“It was a lot of fun!” said Rev. Clark Kerr from Campus Ministry. “There had to be about over 200 people in the gym.”
Fr. Maximilian Maxwell said an opening prayer and Kerr reported that Maxwell “got the wave going once or twice on the bleachers” as the excitement for the event continued to build.
After the ceremony, participants and their buddies went through the Carey Center for different events, like sports activities in the gym, making crafts in front of the Shack, getting painted tattoos and balloon animals in the Lounge and singing karaoke in the Performing Arts Center. Everyone then went to the Mary, Mother of Wisdom Student Chapel for Mass and then returned to the gym for dinner.
Swing Dance Club also volunteered at the event, teaching and dancing with participants throughout the day.
Miriam Donovan, junior graphic arts major, volunteered to attend and participate at the event with the Swing Dance Club.
“I just love seeing all the people come in, enjoying music,” Donovan said. “Whether they’re learning swing dance or not, they’re just jamming out. It’s amazing.”
Despite the smaller number in attendance, everyone at Sports Friendship Day seemed to have a great time, from coloring Vinny the Bearcat masks to sporting hats made from balloons.
“I’m very happy with our students and participants numbers,” Parsons said.