Rebecca Dickson, Reporter
It’s a combination of forces – dubstep music and basketball players. While some students may not think these go together, Raider Athletics has been focusing on bringing Raider spirit to Pierce College students with the ultimate goal of winning a $1,000 scholarship.
The Northwest Athletic Conference currently runs a competition every year where mascots from the region compete in school spirit. With a series of five challenges ranging from community service to making montages, Raider Athletics is competing to win the gold – $1,000. If they win, the money will go towards scholarships for Pierce students.
Director of District Athletics Duncan Stevenson had other motivations beside winning the scholarship for students. He wishes to draw fans to the basketball games at Pierce College.
Although athletic games take place most commonly at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, Pierce College Puyallup and Joint Base Lewis-McChord students are welcome to tryout for teams and attend matches. Stevenson hopes these challenges will help raise awareness and attendance at athletic games.
“It’s a whole lot more fun to play in front of 400-500 people than 40-50 people,” Stevenson said.
The competition has five distinct challenges. The first was “Local Landmark Pride” which took place Jan. 9 through Jan. 13. Teams were instructed to find local landmarks and to have their mascots interact with their environment. Raiders Athletics chose Chamber’s Bay.
“The biggest reason was closeness to us,” Jeff Beha, intern for Raider Athletics said.
Beha thought of several locations for the picture to take place. Originally, they had considered a bridge as a good spot. But, through contacting the marketing department at Chamber’s Bay, they were able to find some time for the Raider to take pictures.
Chamber’s Bay wasn’t open on Tuesday and Wednesday, so the photo shoot had to take place on a Thursday.
The second challenge was the Mascot Music Video. Mascots were to lead excited fans through dances, and the dance Raider Athletics chose was the dubstep.
“We were looking for an easy dance that people could gather quickly,” Beha said. “I’m not a dance person, so I asked some of the athletes to help us out.”
The dance was performed at the men’s basketball game on Jan. 8. Forty to 50 people, including cheerleaders, basketball players and fans came to support and dance the dubstep.
“Obviously, we like to have a good time,” Beha said. “We’d like to have as many students at our games as possible.”
Other challenges include volunteering within the community, working with professors in the classroom and creating a training montage video.
One of the biggest struggles Raider Athletics has been having in the competition is getting enough support online. As each like on social media counts as a vote, Raider Athletics is hoping to get more attention on their social media accounts. Students and community members can like the challenges online, which raises the score for the team. Currently, the Raiders are in 11th place out of the 19 schools invited to participate.
The development of the social media page has also been major for the program.
Stevenson said that although he isn’t into social media, he believes a way to encourage the growth of Raider Athletics is through social media.
“(The athletes) put a lot of work to do what they want to do,” Stevenson said. “We’re in athletics, so we’re all about winning.”
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost