Looking for ways to get involved in Regent Athletics? Want to support our student athletes in a creative and festive way? In need of a place to just scream “Regent, Regent, Royals,” to the tune of “We Will Rock You?” Well look out, Regent Royals; school spirit is in town!
Regent University’s first-ever Spirit Squad has one goal: to support Regent Athletics and cheer on Royals in everything sports-related. This club was recently formed by Regent students Hailey Todd (sophomore) and Catie Dansby (junior), who saw the need for more student involvement in Regent Athletics. Through the Spirit Squad, they have created a great and easy way for students to stay updated on athletic events so they can show up and show their spirit.
This all came about when the girls recognized a recent need for student spirit. “One day, we were at a game,” Dansby shared, “and it was really fun, but there were only about four of us there. We were really hyped for the game, but, again, there were no other students there.” When the two got back home from the game, they began to question why their fellow students weren’t showing up. “We were just like, ‘man, that game was so much fun, why aren’t more students at games?’ said Dansby.
The junior explained how they then stumbled on the idea of creating a spirit squad. “We were goofing off slightly but also being serious. ‘We should start an Instagram; we should start a spirit squad.’” Through all the jokes and laughter, the two started brainstorming, and their dreams quickly became a reality. Before they knew it, the Regent Spirit Squad was born.
They are very excited about how the Spirit Squad has taken off and provided a way to create buzz around Regent Athletics. Highlighting upcoming games and building awareness is one of the main goals of the Spirit Squad because, when asked why students have not been more involved in the past, Dansby replied, “I don’t think there's a lot of awareness about the games going on and the athletics program is still a young program.”
Dansby shared that in addition to a lack of awareness, students also seemed to consider Regent sports separate from Regent activity: “The general consensus of the student body is just like, ‘Okay, we have sports teams, but they’re really separate from campus life.’” Before the Spirit Squad started, various students would mostly go to games to support individual players rather than supporting Regent Athletics as a whole. While it’s great to go out to support individual players, Dansby and Todd shared a dream that Regent Athletics could build a following not just because of the players but also due to its value to Regent.
When Dansby and Todd started the Spirit Squad’s Instagram page, things began to change. The Spirit Squad’s Instagram account has given students a glimpse of the atmosphere created at games, from chants supporting the Royals to posters specifically made to show support. Their feed includes posts about upcoming games, taking videos filming winning shots from star athletes, and showcasing student sections.
The fun, colorful, and uplifting things posted on Instagram are a reflection of Dansby and Todd’s main goal for the Spirit Squad: honoring the school. “Anytime we go to a game, we want to create an environment that is honoring and respectful, including our cheers and conduct at the games,” Dansby said. Along with representing Regent well, the Spirit Squad is focused on making sure that students are able to show support for every Regent team, even during games that may be a bit harder to attend, like cross country events. “We want to make sure that all of our players feel honored and supported,” Dansby said.
Dansby and Todd also highlighted how the Spirit Squad is not a traditional club that has an exclusive number of members. Instead, the Squad is made up of the entire student body. Concerning this point, Todd stated, “It's important that people know that Catie and I are not the Spirit Squad; we just run the Instagram.” She elaborated that “people have this misconception that you have to do something to be a part of it, but it’s literally just a name. The Spirit Squad is the Instagram, and we’re the ones who run it, but it really is just everyone who shows up to games.” Todd emphasized the Spirit Squad’s inclusivity, ensuring that school spirit really is for everyone. “We want every student on this campus to be a part of it,” she said, “and there is no qualification other than just supporting Regent Athletics. You can be part of the Spirit Squad without ever coming to a game. It’s just loving your school.”
For more information about the Spirit Squad and updates on games, events, and other ways to get involved in Regent Athletics, follow the Spirit Squad’s Instagram page @regentspiritsquad. As their bio states, the page is “Filled with team spirit or the Holy Spirit. You decide.” With the way the Spirit Squad brings students together, it’s safe to say that it’s filled with both!