Nina Davy '21
Although it has always been my dream to be the NCS Athletics Board President, I had
never imagined it would be like this. For as long as I remember, I have been taking notes on
Spirit Day, on how it could be improved, and what I wanted to add - only for those plans to be
scratched. While I could sit here and sulk over the different circumstances, I instead plan to make this year memorable in the best way possible. As the coronavirus has kept us apart, I have taken measures to keep people connected through Zoom and social media.
For Spirit Week, I attempted to translate the interactive and competitive nature of the week to a virtual setting. During a typical Spirit Week, NCS Upper School students dress up for a different theme each day and whoever has the best costume wins. This year, without making it too similar to the traditional week, I instead assigned an activity to each day that would be easy
to do virtually and from the comfort of students’ homes. Additionally, in the spirit of friendly
competition, I chose to include the entire student body, rather than just the Upper School, this
year. I selected a purple and a gold winner for each activity, regardless of grade, and posted the
winners on the Athletics Board Instagram account, @thencs_nest. Although organizing these
activities was a challenge, it fostered a sense of community that we usually get from being together in person throughout Spirit Week. The spirit, energy, and creativity that the Lower and Middle Schools brought to the table made the week especially fun and lively for all divisions. Furthermore, the week could not have been as successful as it was without the leadership of the Upper School and the Athletics Board representatives.
The week concluded with a virtual “Purple/Gold Day.” We chose not to call this day “Spirit Day” to avoid comparison to our traditionally thrilling Spirit Day that is adored across all divisions. To resemble the sense of community that Spirit Day brings as closely as possible, I had the entire school meet on a Zoom in the morning where each student was encouraged to be
decked out in their respective team’s color. We spent time competing in friendly, cross-divisional competitions. I asked the participants to complete a variety of tasks in under one minute and to compete against a member of the opposing team in their grade. While planning
activities for the day, my biggest challenges as a leader were stirring up enough excitement within a community that stretches across so many age groups and promoting willingness to participate. The administrations in different divisions vetoed a lot of my ideas because of the difficulty of the activities. However, to my delight, most of the community was engaged throughout the day, if not by leading then participating, and if not participating then by being
entertained by Lower School students. Overall, I received a lot of positive feedback from the day. Although it was hard to lead the entire student body, working and getting familiar with the students in all divisions gave me immense joy.
Since planning Spirit Week is usually the most important job of the Athletics Board President, I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted off my shoulders. However, I plan to keep the community involved with athletics until we return to competitive sports. Each week, Coach Dent and the other sports coaches have been hosting clinics on campus, allowing students to return to their respective sports. To encourage students to sign up for the clinics in preparation for the seasons starting back up again in January, beginning with the Athletics Board representatives, students are going to vlog their days at sports on @thencs_nest. Additionally, I know that athletes who plan to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level are suffering without access to the weight room facility; so, I plan to reach out to Coach Berry and ask him to write down some strength and conditioning workouts that they can do with and without weights at home.
In the coming months, I also plan to work with the Athletics Board and the Athletics Department to schedule an official signing day, something which our school has consistently
failed to do. I think recognition of the student athletes at this extremely rigorous school is important not only to show respect to those athletes, but also to emphasize that balancing school with high level sports is not easy and deserves praise.