Villa students reflect on changes to Sports Day tradition


Maddie Hess

Sports Day has been a Villa Maria Academy tradition for as long as most alumni and students can remember. Sports Day at Villa is always towards the end of the school year and is a day to compete against the other classes in a friendly manner. This day has stayed pretty consistent in regards to how it is organized over the years until the past couple years. In 2020, COVID-19 affected the whole planet. COVID also, obviously, affected this beloved Villa Maria Academy tradition. The day was put off and postponed until the school thought they could have it again.

The next year, in 2021, Villa hosted their annual Sports Day, but in a different manner to those who have known and loved this event in past years. Cheer and Dance (probably regarded as the most competitive parts of Sports Day) did not take place on the day. While this upset many, the student body seemed to understand and take the fact there was an extreme lack of time to plan the event into consideration. Senior Haleyna Hoffman gave her feelings on how this went down. 

Hoffman was a part of the dance team her freshman year in 2019. This has been her only so-called “original” Sport’s Day. 

“This experience was definitely an all-time high for me,” she said. “I wanted to get out and be able to make my mark. I loved taking part in something that was a tradition at Villa and I definitely would have kept doing it if my time was not cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

She also described the way the pandemic made her feel and what she concluded during that time. 

“I had time to reflect on my past high school years before,” Haleyna stated. “I have been unable to experience a real Sport’s Day since my freshman year.”

Another student, junior Megan Kelly, explained how she felt about the pandemic affecting her high school life as well. 

“I feel as though I have missed out on lots of stuff due to COVID-19, especially when it comes to Sports Day,” Megan said. “Because of the pandemic, I never got to experience the tradition as a freshman. My sophomore year was my first Sports Day. It was fun, but it didn’t feel normal. I felt that people were not being as competitive because they didn’t want to get too close to someone and risk getting COVID-19. I feel like Sports Day should have been more enjoyable, but I know it couldn’t be because we still had to be cautious.”

While Megan has never experienced a complete and utterly original Sport’s Day, Haleyna went on to compare her experience with Sports Day to how she think it will go this year when the day is combined with Cathedral Prep. 

“Fast forward to my senior year and we are combining our Sport’s Day with Prep,” she said. “While I don’t mind doing this because of the merger, it still feels like our tradition is being taken away. Combining the day with Prep does not make it as special as it would usually be. I feel like we should keep it separate for one more year, but it’s not up to me. So I am looking forward to see what this new day will be like!”