Charlotte’s Diary, Florida Student: Sports at American College

Charlotte’s diary

Posted on February 26, 2022


Her name is Charlotte. This young student from Taupont left a few weeks ago for the United States. She will stay there until next summer to continue her studies. Why did you make this choice? how does she live this experience? What is his daily life on the campus of the University of Florida? What advice do they give to students who would like to have the same experience? She has agreed to share her experience with us and regularly sends us articles for this purpose which also allow us to better understand the lives and concerns of Americans. A good exercise in participatory journalism for a young girl who is destined for this profession…

She tells us today about the importance of sport at university in the United States.

Find Charlotte’s diary by clicking here

“I love being part of this community”

In the United States, sport has a much more important place at school than in France. Indeed, young people play a sport with their school and not with an associative club in their city.
Each college/high school has an American football, basketball, baseball or gymnastics team. This is how high school students noted for their sporting prowess obtain scholarships to finance their studies and continue to play at university.

At the University of Florida, where I study, American football is the most important sport and the season starts at the beginning of the school year (August). Each match played at home is watched by a full stadium (larger than the Stade de France), and we discover motorhomes on campus with whole families who have come to watch the match. Fraternities (fraternal organizations for boys) hold tailgate parties called « Tailgates » to get in the sporty mood and where everyone dresses up in orange and blue, the colors of the Gators, the team American football.
But it’s not just American football. As soon as the season ends in November, the students turn to basketball, which is also very important and whose games are very popular. The matches take place in the Stephen O’Connell Center which has a capacity of 12,000 spectators. For all sports except American football, students at the University of Florida have free access to all Gators home games.
The student section gives the first students to arrive pompoms and t-shirts bearing the team’s image. These are invited by a host, a marching band and cheerleaders to make as much noise as possible and encourage the players. There is a real show set up during half-time and during certain time-outs with dancers and games with the public. It’s very impressive and you don’t expect all this staging for a college game.
Gymnastics is also a sport widely practiced and followed by students. Gymnasts perform four events: beam, floor, uneven bars and vaulting table. They get a mark out of ten in each test and the sum of the points obtained determines the winning team. In the floor event, all the gymnasts include the Gators clap in the event and, impressively, the whole room knows it and does it at the same time.
College championships are hosted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the University of Florida plays in the Southeastern Conference of the First Division. The latter is the most important and it includes teams in all states but the teams compete first according to their geographical area before qualifying for the national matches. Unfortunately, this year, the University of Florida Gators did not qualify. At the economic level, these championships are also very important because they are a very big source of income for the universities, in particular the American football matches which bring back enormous sums of money (the entrance to the stadium varies from 30 to 150 dollars depending on the place and the opposing team). The sport and the university identity are very important, the families of the students support the Gators teams, follow them very closely by coming to see the games and attend the tailgates wearing the colors of the university; I love being part of this community. I’m also looking forward to discovering other sports like, for example, baseball, the season of which will start very soon.

“If you come to Florida, a move to the university stage is a must! »


Laisser un commentaire