Swish-a-Thon 2023: A Look into Woodstock Culture

It’s that time of the year when people start to cheer and liven up with Woodstock Spirit. Swish-A-Thon happens once every year, alongside other sports events like Goal-A-Thon and Win-Mumby. It is a charity event that is held by the school, focused on Woodstock’s most cherished sport: basketball. The moment people step foot into the Win Mumby Gym, 100 voices of the same chant echo through the hollow ends of the room. Friends and teachers are gathered together, with their fingers crossed and a spark of anticipation traveling up their spine, hoping that the team they are supporting will make it through this quarter. The event consists of teams from different grades (6-12), alongside teachers and staff players where teams come up with the most innovative names, such as Lights Out, Reddy in my Beddy, and Airball.

As soon as the reality of the game begins to seep in, the players forget that they’re participating for the sake of raising funds; instead, they start to play for fun. Players of the basketball team choose to enjoy the time that they spend on the court to revive the feeling of ‘competitiveness’, as well as rejuvenate themselves overall. To further enhance Woodstock Spirit, music begins to play from speakers at every corner of the Gym. A 3-pointer attempt from one of the players of the team calls for a sudden rise in tension. People look at one another, their eyes widened and their focus pinned to the center of the court. As soon as a 3-pointer kicks in, the crowd roars and begins to jump in the bleachers.  

Simran from Grade 10 has experienced Swish-A-Thon since she was in Grade 7. She provided her input on how this Woodstock-held charity event evolved as a whole, as well as the significance it retains within the Woodstock community. Woodstockers live by events similar to Win-Mumby, Swish-A-Thon, and Goal-A-Thon due to the kind of energy and liveliness they emanate. A time period full of exam stress and overdue assignments calls for a night spent at The Gym during Swish-A-Thon week! According to her, back in 7th grade, participating in Swish-A-Thon was “considered very important to them. If they made it to Semi-Finals or Finals, it would be looked at as a golden ticket for them to be a part of the Inter-team.” She expressed how she, as well as her team, had to compete against staff members and 6th graders. Furthermore, she mentioned how it almost felt like they were associating with a group full of kids who radiated an abundance of light; hence making the entire quarter comparatively easier for them. However, she further added that one match was arranged grade-wise where it was her team against the seniors. Usually, she would be comfortable competing with them, although being put in a situation like this “made her panic.” She says “they knew each other’s weaknesses and strengths, so they were aware of what exactly they needed to do to successfully get through this match.” 

Swish-A-Thon is a blast and can often unleash a rollercoaster of emotions within a short period of time. Despite the years that have passed by since Swish-A-Thon was first initiated, the hype and significance of this event have never diminished. Unsurprisingly, this year’s Swish-A-Thon was on another level of enthusiasm, angst, and elation. We’re already looking forward to next year!

Aditi is a staff reporter.

Edited by Asha.

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