Sports We Didn’t Know We Needed

It may seem that we have too many sports at Lawrenceville. We have swimming, but then we offer diving, water-polo, and crew as additional aquatic athletics.

It may seem that we have too many sports at Lawrenceville. We have swimming, but then we offer diving, water-polo, and crew as additional aquatic athletics. We offer America’s pastime of baseball for males, as well as softball, the female variation. Lawrenceville athletes play hockey on the ice with a puck and on the field with a ball. And as if the outdoor version wasn’t enough, we also provide the indoor edition of track and field. Yet, while there’s an abundance of sports, there’s more room to explore. If Lawrenceville ever decides to add a few more offerings, here are three sports that should be included.

Skateboarding

It’s already a staple for those Lawrentians who whizz to class on their four-wheeled boards. Originally, debuting as a sport in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, skateboarding has been gaining social acceptance and athletic credibility over the last few years. Skateboarders were once looked down on as punks, misfits, and outcasts. However, skateboarding has since legitimized itself as a sport and an art, as skateboarders utilize urban areas and spaces as a canvas for their tricks and flips. At Lawrenceville, skateboards are mostly used as a utility for convenient transportation, but adding skateboarding as a sport would bring out the creative and athletic sides of the multitude of skaters on campus. There’s already an abundance of skateboards on campus, and thus skateboarding is arguably the cheapest addition on this list, as the school wouldn’t have to supply extra skateboards. And while official courses have specific ramps, stairs, pools, and bowls, the mark of a true skateboarder is his or her creativity; there are plenty of architectural campus features that skateboarders could creatively use for their sport.

Weightlifting

Since the dawn of mankind, humans have been in constant competition to see who can lift heavier things. Even in Ancient Egypt, people would compete to see who could outlift another using heavy rocks. Weightlifting is the one of the few non-contact methods of demonstrating superior strength, not to mention its existence as a great training tool to aid athletes in other sports. Where Olympic weightlifting includes two lifts called the snatch and the clean and jerk, powerlifting includes the squat, deadlift, and bench press. Both sports are technical in practice but are quite simplistic individually; athletes try to lift as much weight as possible. Lawrenceville already has the facilities and the people in place. There are an abundance of strong athletes around campus and a great Strength and Conditioning team consisting of Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Tony Rienzo and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Kelly Wise. The Greek philosopher Socrates once said, “It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting would provide Lawrenceville student-athletes the opportunity to realize his or her body’s raw potential.

Paintball

Imagine this: In the Joshua L. Miner Ropes Course (“The Josh”), 10 to 20 Lawrentians, decked in protective helmets and padding and equipped with paintball guns, try to navigate different obstacles in a clash for paintball supremacy. It’s an adrenaline junkie’s dream come true, and although paintball is an “extreme” sport, it is arguably one of the safest ones, especially with the proper equipment and modified guns. Most paintball injuries do not stem from the actual paintball shots but from tripping over terrain or bumping into obstacles, which is inevitable in any sport requiring running. Others would consider paintball a recreational game for an outing of friends, but it contains all the elements of a sport. There’s clearly an athletic element, as the players juke through the map to evade opponents, and it may be the most inherently competitive considering the survival of the fittest objective. With official rules and a designated map, even a simple game of tag can become an official sport, so why can’t paintball? The addition of teams, which is how most paintball matches are played, would even add a team-sport element. As a house sport offering, Circle and Crescent Houses could settle their intramural rivalries in this Hunger Games-esque competition. A paintball war in Lawrenceville would be one of the more fun sports options if added, and after classes, students could flock to the “The Josh” for an adrenaline-filled evening.

It’s unlikely that the Lawrenceville administration would jump on the idea of hosting a paintball war at the “The Josh” or letting fleets of skaters lose around campus. While the list does not include traditional high school sports, offering some of these athletic competitions for Lawrenceville athletes would add to the School’s diversity of athletics.

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