UConn’s student section casts a spotlight on women’s sports

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Photo provided by: UConn

Totalling 2,656 points at the end of their season, UConn’s women’s basketball team had an impressive run. With total attendance of 124,494, this was one of their most attended seasons ever.

Annaliese Long, Staff Reporter

History was made on Mon., Mar. 21 at the University of Connecticut (UConn) women’s basketball game against University of Central Florida in the 2022 Women’s March Madness Tournament. Approximately 4,000 students showed up to the event, resulting in the largest student section in either team’s history, according to the school. With a huge crowd cheering them on, the team won 52-47, leading them to advance in their season with more support behind them than ever before.

With a loyal student section, any team has stronger chances of faring well in their game. Many basketball players feel that the student section is crucial for fueling the energy and contributing to the motivation of the team. 

“They need to be loud, they need to be cheering and they need to be respectful,” junior basketball player Trinidy Kev said. “It allows the players to gain energy. Personally for me, when we have a loud crowd and they’re actually cheering and engaged in the game, it makes me feel better because it’s like I have to be good for them.”

While the massive turnout not only helped encourage UConn’s team to win, it also spoke to a promising shift in the attention on women’s sports in general. In 2019, it was reported by World Sports Network that male NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) basketball games averaged 4,659 people per game, while women’s games averaged 1,625. This is indicative of the historically larger emphasis on male sports over female. But with a largely populated university having its highest student turnout rate at a women’s game, things appear to be going in a positive direction for equality between the sexes when it comes to sports. 

“It’s great to see such change in the sports community,” sophomore basketball player Tai Nguyen said. “Sports are something that bring people together regardless of who you are, and to see wine getting more chances is just a step closer to a more equal world.”

With larger crowds and more fan support for female teams, there is a bigger spotlight on women’s sports than ever before. Some people hope that more opportunities will arise for female players of all levels and that the inequality between the genders within sports will disappear for future athletes. 

“For the future of women’s sports, I hope that there will be support and funding in order to grow,” basketball coach Morgan Sams said. “I feel as though it starts at the grade school level. Furthermore, I hope that the view of women’s sports as ‘less than’ is taken out of the conversation. There are women playing who are talented beyond measure and their hard work should never be viewed as less.”