A packed stadium with constant cheering and banging on barriers from the crowd at an ice hockey match as seen in The Mighty Ducks isn’t quite what I’ve experience here in Guelph, Canada although it hasn’t been far from that. I’m half way through my semester exchange now at University of Guelph and the sense of school spirit is exhilarating.
It all kicked off in week two of semester with Winter Homecoming: The Frosty Mug, Homecoming is a popular tradition in North American universities that takes place to welcome back alumni of a school. Summer homecoming is centred around a football match and winter around a hockey game, this particular game attracted a record crowd of 3226 people. It was a tight and exciting game with The Guelph Gryphons and Brock Badgers tying 4-4 with 8 minutes remaining in the final period. The raw and excitement of the crowd was amazing to be a part of as The Gryphons held the Badgers out and scored twice more to secure a victory.
Varsity games are really popular here with competition between universities, community members and fellow students get together to support and cheer on their local team. Both men’s and women’s hockey have been my favourite games to watch so far however support for the basketball team is also very strong. Cheer squads from other universities travel with their team, I was pleased to witness the passion of Waterloo Warriors students with matching headdresses armed with drumsticks, buckets and frying pans proudly chanting. While I hadn’t been here long, only four weeks, when given the option to choose the wager of a friendly bet with a mate I chose buying coffee over cheering for the opposition at the next hockey game. I just couldn’t bring myself to do that.
It doesn’t end there, with competitive sport. A sense of school spirit is constantly radiating across the grounds of Guelph, recently University of Guelph made the local news with our world record attempt to hold the largest snowball fight on campus. While we didn’t beat the record of around 5800 the hundreds of students who turned up had a blast with the campus police officers also getting involved. All in all my experience here in Guelph so far has been great, it didn’t take long at all to feel welcomed and a sense of school spirit and pride.
Sarah enjoyed a semester exchange at the University of Guelph, Canada. If you’re interested in a study abroad or exchange experience get in touch with Griffith Global Mobility.