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When two worlds collide: Athletes in Spring Sing

The lights go up, the crowd erupts and the pressure mounts—it is Spring Sing 2020.

A majority of students are not involved in Spring Sing. One of the biggest demographics not involved in Spring Sing or the club environment is athletes. Athletes who have practice and games often do not have time to commit to other requirements, which to some makes them feel disconnected from campus.

However, two female soccer players decided to blur the lines between the worlds of clubs and athletics and participate in Spring Sing 2020.

Gabby Goddard, a freshman goalkeeper for Oklahoma Christian University, dresses up as a cow in the freshman Chick-fil-A show. Grace Simpson, a senior defender for Oklahoma Christian, decided to participate as a part-time character in Iota Kappa Phi’s Lilo and Stitch show. Last year, Simpson participated full-time, while also balancing school and soccer.

Both agree participating in Spring Sing has brought them friendships and memories which will make their college experience more fun and diverse.

In a recent interview with the Talon, they shared their thoughts on Spring Sing, athletics and clubs.

Why did you want to do Spring Sing?

Goddard: “I didn’t want to do Spring Sing at first. I thought it would conflict with soccer and school too much, and I thought I would have zero time for homework. Then, my friends bugged me about it until I finally gave in, but I’m very glad they did. Spring Sing has been such a blast for me. If there ever was such a thing as the college experience, Spring Sing would be it. I’ve spent time with new people I never would’ve met without Spring Sing, and I’ve made so many memories I could never forget.”

Simpson: “Spring Sing has always been a way for me to connect with my club sisters in the middle of a busy semester and spend so much quality time together. It’s a way for me to be involved with a different group on campus that isn’t in the athletic world, finding a different way to connect on campus.”

How has the balance been between sports and Spring Sing?

Goddard: “It’s definitely been a struggle in the sleep department. I’m the kind of person who needs eight hours of sleep every night in order to function properly. Early morning workouts kick my butt, especially with Spring Sing practice ending so late the night before, but it’s been worth every lost minute of sleep.”

Simpson: “Balancing Spring Sing and sports isn’t too difficult because soccer is a fall sport. However, it does mean that I often have had to run straight from soccer practice to a show or Spring Sing practice, trying to find time to eat and breathe, but it’s all worth it in my opinion.”

What has been your favorite part about being involved in Spring Sing?

Goddard: “My favorite part about being involved in Spring Sing is the people. Not just in my club, but in others as well. Being a freshman surrounded by super talented upperclassmen is intimidating, but I got to see how encouraging and fun the other clubs are and why Spring Sing is important to so many.”

Simpson: “My favorite part about Spring Sing is club night 100%. The vibe of all the clubs coming together and getting to show off all the hard work from the last six weeks is indescribable. Being able to hang out with our friends from other clubs and just be goofy, silly and still compete and have fun is what Spring Sing is all about.”

Do you think there is a separation between athletes and clubs?

Goddard: “I do think there is a subtle separation, mostly because it seems too large a task to juggle sports, clubs and school, but I’ve been so encouraged to be a part of the club experience ever since I’ve been here at Oklahoma Christian.”

Simpson: “I do believe that there is a large gap between athletes and clubs, and that’s why I rushed club in the first place. I think there will always be a gap between the clubs and athletes because of the size of the school and how busy athletes are all the time.”

How can this gap be lessened? Should it be lessened?

Goddard: “It could be lessened by reassurance from coaches and advisors. I think it should be lessened, because it would prevent any guilt or doubt in athlete participators if they choose to do Spring Sing. I almost chose not to because of sports.”

Simpson: “I firmly believe that the gap has to be lessened to create unity on this campus. I do think club is not for everyone and that is OK, but finding a way to make sure that the athletes have a way to get involved. I think a great way to start to build the bridge is by allowing athletes to compete in intramurals without being in club, opening it up to the whole campus would be a great way to bridge many of the gaps on campus.”

Do you think Spring Sing is important?

Goddard: “I think it is important, because it allows athletes to get out into new social environments they would not have experienced without Spring Sing. It’s also important for freshman to get an understanding of club life and the responsibilities it requires of them.”

Simpson: “I think Spring Sing is a great way to bring clubs together in the spring semester. We have Homecoming in the fall that does the same thing similarly, but without Spring Sing there isn’t anything like that in the spring.”

What can be done for athletes during Spring Sing, especially with spring sports going on?

Goddard: “It would helpful if athletes were allowed more time for rest. The stress of school and sports combined with lack of sleep can be extremely exhausting. Even if it were just for the week of show week, leniency regarding sports activities would be very beneficial.”

Simpson: “Athletes who aren’t participating in Spring Sing get to be involved during club night where they throw a cast party for everyone after the show; however, I think it is looked down on as an athlete, as something that isn’t worthwhile and a waste of time for their busy schedules. I think making them feel like they are a part of the whole process rather than ‘serving’ the participants will help the athletes be included more.”

As Simpson said, athletes not involved in the show helped throw a cast party for club participants during club night on Tuesday night, which helps bridge the gap between communities.

Clubs and athletes represent two massive demographic points on Oklahoma Christian’s campus, but in some shows, both will be on display this weekend.

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