UNI to add two new sports


Karl Karlson

Student athletes urge peers to embrace the wind and ice and cheer them on in their kite flying and ice skating seasons.

Sara Lee, Soft and Smooth Human

This article is completely satire, any resemblance to any real person is completely coincidental. The statements in the french fry do not reflect the views of the Northern Iowan, nor do they reflect the views of the advertisers outside of this insert.

Two new sports are coming to UNI, beginning fall 2021: ice skating and kite flying. The university is contributing $10,000 to each team to assist with recruitment efforts.

Katie Hunt, a sophomore elementary education major, initially proposed the idea of a kite flying team her freshman year. However, the idea fell through after campus closed down due to the pandemic. It was shelved again this year due to concern in the athletics department about airborne transmission of COVID-19.

“I tried to explain we’d definitely be six feet apart when flying our kites,” Hunt said.

Hunt will be the head coach of the kite flying team if UNI is unable to find another professional. The prospect is exciting to Hunt, who’s passionate about kite flying.

“I’ve been doing it since I was really young,” she said. “I’d take a kite out to my high school’s football field and just stare at my kite for hours. There’s something intimate about the sport I can’t explain. It’s just you, the sky and that kite.”

Hunt said that UNI’S campus is perfect for kite flying, and she’s excited to scope out spots.

“Campus is so windy,” she said. “And you know, many people don’t know why. UNI used to be a teacher’s school, and students would come here in the summer when it was super hot. Campus was laid out to achieve maximum airflow to make the heat more bearable. I think it would be cool to make this history better known and also make use of the wind here.”

Although many UNI students grumble about the windy campus, Hunt thinks they should embrace it more.

“It’s really unique,” she said. “How many people can say they go to school at the windiest campus in the Midwest? We should be proud.”

Meanwhile, Nolan Peters, a junior psychology major, is the founder of UNI’s new ice skating team.

“I’ve been coming to UNI for three years now, and I’ve noticed we have the perfect conditions for ice skating in the winter,” Peters said. “Whether you’re by Schindler, Lang or Rod, you can more than likely find some ice patches to skate on.”

Peters said some people have expressed concern about labeling the new sport as ice skating. However, he believes people aren’t thinking “big enough.”

“We have this preconceived idea of what ice skating is,” he said. “We think it’s just what we see during the Olympics. Ice skating is so much more than that, though, and this team will explore that.”

Peters said that true ice skating happens out in the everyday world: on the way to the grocery store, work or in the driveway.

“When you feel yourself slipping on that patch of black ice, it’s easy to panic, and that’s what most people do,” Peters said. “Members of this team take that panic and forge it into something productive and beautiful. ‘Tripping on ice’ will be a thing of the past.”

The goal of the ice skating team is to see how long they can glide across a patch of ice, and if members incorporate tricks like gliding on one foot or spinning, they earn extra points. Peters foresees skaters getting creative once classes are in session next winter.

“Dodging other students will make it more challenging,” he explained. “Skaters will really have to step up and prove they’re serious about this sport.”

Peters hopes UNI will continue to sparingly salt campus. While he acknowledges that student safety is important, optimum icy conditions are necessary for ice skating.

“The main reason we can have an ice skating team is because our grounds are really icy,” Peters said. “I hope UNI will continue to value its athletes and save their salt.”