Fans support athletes in two new ways during winter season


Kevin Zowaski

The Athletic Booster Club offered fans a chance to show their support to the athletes by selling fans in the stands cutouts for the games.

As sporting events have been starting up again, some workarounds to fan restrictions have been put in place. Sporting events are now being live-streamed as well as the new “Fans in the Stands” fundraiser that has been started.

Home games are being streamed exclusively on the GNHS Youtube channel. Although there are currently very few sports being streamed, there are plans to expand to more sports including boys soccer, football, and girls volleyball very soon.

“We are streaming all of our girls basketball and boys basketball games currently. They can go to our athletics webpage and look up the girls and boys basketball schedules,” athletic director Tina Woolard said.

Fans in the Stands is a fundraiser started by the Booster Club. In this fundraiser, people can pay to get a picture of themselves on a cutout that will be placed in the stands during sporting events to make it seem like there are more people viewing in person.

“A cutout if you buy just one is 35 dollars. If you wanted to buy 4 cutouts, then it would be 30 dollars for each cutout, if you wanted to buy one with grandma, grandpa, younger brother, and the dog,” said Andrea Magri, president of the Booster Club.

Some ideas being implemented due to the pandemic could be considered to continue even after COVID-19 is dealt with. One of these is live streaming sporting events due to the huge increase in accessibility that it presents.

“I think the ones we can stream with the personnel we have, we will attempt to continue streaming. I think it’s great that if somebody has family members in Arizona, they can watch the game too. So I think that is a real positive that has come out of this,” Woolard said.

Numbers are an important thing to look at when considering whether to continue something or not. Viewership of the live streams has been fairly good considering many circumstances and how different this all is from normal times.

“A few times I’ve clicked on, and we have had like 100 or 150 people watching, other times we have 20. I think it totally depends on the event, how many kids are involved, how many people are interested, and how many people are available. I feel like our viewing has been higher than what we typically get in person,” Woolard said.

Fans in the Stands have also received some praise. However, there has not been much consideration on what will happen after the pandemic.

“There’s been interest. It’s been really positive. When people see the cutouts, they say they want to be involved in it. We would be open to try it in the fall for people with family members who can’t make it but still want to be there,” Magri said.

The feedback that has been received from having started live streaming games has shown that the only real changes needed are just expansion to more sports. Even with just a few sports being streamed, people are already grateful for the opportunity to watch games they would not have otherwise.

“We’ve gotten lots of positive feedback. Parents have appreciated being able to see their kids’ games if they couldn’t attend because right now they can’t attend any away events. I think parents have really appreciated the effort we’ve made to have people be able to see the games. It has been a great addition,” Woolard said.