High School Athletic Event
On 21 April 2015, I attended a soccer game at UNK Foster Field in Kearney, Nebraska between Bearcats and Bulldogs from North Platte after having paid $6. The game commenced at 4:30 pm despite the venue being one and a half hours from Kearney. It had a low attendance of about 200 people most of whom were family members of the players. It was interesting to watch the fluctuation in camaraderie among the spectators especially after the results kept alternating between the two teams. However, across the field was a free tennis game in a public park although the noise was subdued at that end. The soccer game was more fascinating due to the numerous cheers of the fans. In particular, the Bearcats seemed to have plenty of support with “Bearcats here we go!” chants renting the air every time their players possessed the ball. Fortunately, a nearby cafeteria offering hotdogs and soft drinks ensured that fans remained energized and their prompt service attracted adulation from the hungry spectators. Interestingly, a chance encounter of a Bearcats roster revealed each player’s favorite drink, pre-game meal, and future major in college hence enhancing trivia material for use during cheering.
University Athletic Event
Harmon Park in Kearney, Nebraska was the venue for a men’s and women’s 20 April 2015 tennis match. I attended the 4:30 pm event pitting UNK and Doane College since it was the last game of the season in anticipation of an exciting encounter. Whereas he contests were fierce, the UNK teams won in all 3 doubles games as well as the 6 singles. Notably, the winners played with much flair and skills and this can be attributed to the second place ranking of the men’s team in the mid-America (MIAA) and the ladies’ fourth place position in the MIAA tournament. However, the low turnout of fans, about 20, despite the good weather dimmed the ceremony although a sophomore student alluded to larger crowds in the earlier performances. Nevertheless, a photographer from Kearney Hub newspaper was on hand to publicize the games and that showed the media interest the players had generated. Unfortunately, the fact that all the games were played at the same time was distracting. Moreover, the absence of referees contributed to a lack of order on the pitch especially when controversial moves were made. Similarly, there was no one to pick the ball once it went out of the field and that lengthened the matches.
International Food and Cultural Festival
On 8 March 2015, a warm and sunny Sunday morning in the UNK Health and Sports Center, I attended a cultural festival as part of a crowd of 1400 food and culture enthusiasts. The event was laden with plenty of music, friendly banter and colorful costumes as participants paraded themselves in their best personalities in solidarity with their heritage. In fact, the different genres of music and dance formed the main attractions in the hall and the hospitality of the hosts became infectious to the natives and foreigners alike. Sampling of food from the eight countries was done throughout the afternoon and the inquisitive nature of the participants was refreshing especially for me, being an international student from Saudi Arabia. I was able to make new friends and dispel stereotypes about Muslims while also learning interesting facts about other races. Group photography formed the highlight of the festival and it was unbelievable that the event had commenced at 4:00 pm since everyone yearned for it to continue despite the late hours it ended.
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