With the second season nearing its peak, orders of sports equipment and team merchandise have taken a quantum leap. Whether it is for the classic team practice jersey or a more elaborate pairing of jacket and pants, purchasing of merchandise not only consumes time, but also takes a toll on the athletes’ wallets. This trend begs the question; what value does extra merchandise bring to a team, and is it really worth all the time and money?

According to junior athlete, Nate De Villa, the extra merchandise helps the boys basketball team foster self-confidence and aesthetic appeal.  He explains, “The extra team merchandise, in particular the green long sleeve warm-up shirts, definitely gives us  ‘swag’ and intimidates our opponents. The shirt’s design was inspired by the official NBA practice jerseys; therefore, it gives us an extra boost of confidence. Realistically, none of us will ever play in the NBA, but at least we can match the league in fashion.”

Not only do the merchandises help boost the basketball team’s self-confidence, but also hones the skills of each individual member. Recently, the team hosted a free-throw exhibition, wherein, audience members pledged to donate varying amounts of money for every successful shot made. Each member of the team had 100 balls to shoot, and all profit fed directly into funding the team’s merchandise and equipment.  Each member of the team successfully raised about 3,000 – 8,000 pesos, which kept their wallets plump, their skills sharp, and their resources plenty.

However an easier way to raise funds is through parent donors or sponsors.  A generous parent sponsored the girls basketball team’s Tearaway pants and an anonymous sponsor donated over 40,000 pesos for the boys tennis team’s sneakers.

But unfortunately, for the girls tennis team, funds came from their own pockets. According to sophomore Liana Samson, “the girls don’t mind spending the extra money. In an individual sport like tennis, team unity is difficult to foster but vital nonetheless. The extra merchandise helps us feel more bonded and allows us a sense of pride and belonging.”

It may seem superfluous to others but the additional merchandise serves a beneficial purpose as it invigorates the players to perform at their best.  When team members look sharp, they feel good and play even better.

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Article by: Samantha Um, 10
Photographs by: Charlene Mamaril, 12

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