Sporting WCA

What Does it Take to Play a Unique Sport?

A turf field, a rubber running track. A dusty baseball diamond or a shiny basketball court. These are the locations people’s minds go to when they think of where sports are played. But what if there are other locations, like an ice rink or a horse stable? These interesting places beg the question: What does it take to play a unique sport?

While there is no perfect mold that fits these athletes, they must possess a few key qualities. A genuine love for the sport is a must because it takes up so much of their free time. They also should have some natural talent, but also display a hardworking attitude. Lastly, they need to accept the fact that their sport will make them stand out from their peers.

8th grader Abby Sickles has shown a love for horseback riding since she was a child.

“I have always loved horses, and got into the sport of horseback riding because I loved to watch horse T.V. shows a child,” she explains.

Another athlete, 7th grader Peyton French, found interest in his sport at a friend’s birthday party.

“I discovered rollerskating at my friend’s birthday party, and found that I was interested in it, so I started taking lessons, and a friend from roller skating got me into the sport of ice skating,” says French.

The athletes participating in a unique sport need to work hard and work differently because their practices often look vastly different than a practice for a normal sport.

“I practice 3 days a week for an hour, but the practices are different than the other sports I’ve played because the horse is a living, breathing animal that can be very moody,” says Abby Sickles.

Although the practices can be difficult at times, athletes can learn important lessons from their unique sport.

“I have learned a lot of patience from horseback riding because of how temperamental the horse can be, but I have also learned to [relinquish] control sometimes because often it is best to let the horse take control even when you want to lead,” Sickles also adds.

There are challenging things that come with each individual sport, but a challenge unique to uncommon sports is that those who participate in them stand out from their peers. In order to deal with this, the athletes must accept the fact that they are different.

“It feels really good to be one of the only peoples to do ice skating because you [have an opportunity] to get others to join in in what you love to do,” French shares.

Each athlete is content with standing out, but both Abby and Peyton agreed that Westminster could be more supportive towards their sport.

“I haven’t met any other middle schoolers who ice skate or roller blade so I think it would be cool to start a club for either roller skating or ice skating, ” Peyton comments. Abby has met a few people that horseback ride but she also agrees that a club would be nice when she says, “It would great to start a club so that I could hang out with people who share my same interests.”

Playing a unique sport is difficult, but it is also extremely rewarding, and each athlete has a favorite part that pushes them through when things are hard. For Peyton, it’s the feeling of the wind against his face as he flies across the ice. For Abby, the free sensation that comes with cantering or riding bareback keeps her motivated. Every interesting sport an athlete participates in takes hard work, dedication, and a willingness to stand out.