There are few better sights and sounds to see than that of a packed gymnasium on basketball game day at H.J. Cody.
Saturday evening, as the senior boys took on the Wetaskawin Sabers, the sheer energy coursing across the hard wood floor as the many fans present cheered the Lakers on was enough to give a bystander shivers.
Rightfully so, the place was packed. Not a seat could be found on the bleachers and soon the sidelines began to fill. The series between the two teams was tied 1-1. The winner of the game would go on to provincials.
When it came time for the last buzzer to blow its top and the fourth quarter came to a closing, it wasn’t the Lakers who leapt with joy as the score ended in the Sabers’ favour.
However, still the Lakers’ fans ferociously cheered on both teams – never faltering in their seeming love for the sport and their home town team. Eruptions from the crowd were awe-inspiring as Lakers forwards drained three pointers, clawing back at the Sabers each period.
Throughout the game the Lakers came within a few points multiple times showing extreme teamwork, incredible utilization of ball movement and a staggering defence.
It was a hard fought game for the Lakers with a final score of 79-83.
There is no shortage of support for local athletic programs in Sylvan Lake. It is increasingly apparent the town’s livelihood and culture holds foundations in minor sports.
Over the last few years, organized sports in Sylvan Lake have faced a number of challenges, including the collapse of the arena roof and the closure of the aquatic centre. One challenge organized sports in Sylvan will never encounter is a lack of love from their community.
For an entire community to band behind their young athletes, shows a common understanding of the opportunity organized sports can offer.
Organized sport has the potential to teach young people the importance of teamwork, dedication and commitment. Not only is it a great way to get kids active – it has the potential to teach them the power of working towards a goal as a whole rather than as an individual.
Above and beyond this, organized sport teaches how bettering oneself can benefit those around them. By working hard and honing in on your own athletic abilities, it in turn adds to your team.
Sport also teaches us grace and sportsmanship, in addition to many, many other valuable life skills that will carry over into adulthood.
Sport has the potential to keep us healthy and foster our young people’s life skills but even more so, sport has the potential to bring a community together. Just as the team must pull together to bring a win, so to do we often see communities being brought together or even built on a foundation of sport.
The collapse of the arena roof showed just what kind of impact sport could have on a community. Now, as the NexSource Centre grows before us, I find myself imagining what impact it will have on sport in Sylvan Lake.
Could the NexSource Centre act as the ultimate catalyst for fostering sport in Sylvan Lake? Do you think it will serve as a hub for the Town?
***Let us know what you think about sport in Sylvan Lake and the NexSource Centre by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. ***