Article by Ishani Sharma

With first season athletics well underway, many are already invested in the Bearcats’ performance at the upcoming IASAS tournaments. However, the student body often overlooks the variety of year long sports offered by the school. Unlike traditional seasonal sports, these athletes compete year round in events such as martial arts, wall climbing, chess, table tennis, and gymnastics. Each one of these teams has dedicated members seeking the benefits of a unique, year round system.

For instance, members of the Climbing team, Maile D. and Rhia M. from Grade 10, are eager to point out the advantages of their sport. Maile states that “everyone is super supportive, even if we don’t all know each other on a personal level.” She adds that “there is always lots of cheering and encouragement from everyone; it’s a really nice environment.” Rhia M agrees, saying that she loves wall climbing “because it’s really chill and having it all year gets you to try something throughout the year so you’re not just fit one single season.” In addition to being in a relaxed, supportive environment, tryouts are a non-threatening experience. Rhia explains that “You basically just climb for a week, so the coaches can see what level you’re at. Usually they split the team into people who’ve had prior climbing experience or are returning climbers, and the newer people who might be new to climbing.” Both these girls highly encourage more students to join the climbing team as it’s an inclusive alternative to other competitive sports.

Sailfish, the year-round swim team, is another way to get involved. Jon N (10) says that year-round swimming is a great way to get in shape, especially for people who may want to make IASAS for second season. When asked about the differences between swimming as a year long sport and swimming as a seasonal sport, he says “Year long swimming is less stressful, and the workouts are less tough, compared to varsity swimming which is more competitive and rigorous.” Like climbing, Jon explains another difference is that “for year-round swimming, no one gets cut; the coaches just determine your level in the first few days and then separate you into groups according to your ability.”

Ultimately, year round sports are a wonderful way to stay active throughout the year. It’s a chance to meet new people, enjoy a sport you love, and stay in shape. There are a lot of different opportunities within these year round sports as well, so if the competition and commitment of seasonal sports is overwhelming, then these year round sports may be perfect for you!

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