Apparently the ultimate warrior is well-travelled

Several Waterloo students are now just a game away from winning $2,000 towards a trip to wherever they want. The Athletics Department’s Ultimate Warrior contest now has three of its six finalists, chosen for their displays of spirit at recent varsity games. Five of the finalists were or will be chosen at games, and one last one will be selected from social media posts containing “#UltWarrior.” The winner will be selected at the 8 p.m. men’s volleyball game against the McMaster Marauders Jan. 31. Athletics has promised a nebulous “variety of challenges” during that event to determine the eventual winner.

At each game, four fans wearing black and gold and showing spirit are chosen by athletics officials to attempt the qualifying challenge. For example, the first activity included a puck toss and throwing pizza boxes into a hockey net. All of the finalists then get to compete for the grand prize $2,000 travel voucher, which is part of a sponsorship with Merit Travel in University Plaza. Athletics marketing co-op Meryl Norris told <em>Imprint</em>, &ldquo;The Ultimate Warrior series started as a contest to increase school spirit here at Waterloo. We wanted to create something that would help rally the students and ultimately unite us all as Warriors.&rdquo;

The contest is one of many attempts by athletics to increase the attendance and crowd energy at often poorly-attended winter varsity sports games. Warrior Tribe, the Ultimate Warrior contests, and other initiatives like Black and Gold Day are meant to promote the Warrior brand and achieve that mythical &ldquo;school spirit&rdquo; seen at some other schools in the OUA and at American universities.

So far, finalists were chosen at hockey and basketball games during the past two weeks. The remaining qualifiers will be chosen at the 6:30 p.m. men&rsquo;s hockey game Jan. 24 and at the 6 p.m. women&rsquo;s volleyball game on Jan. 31. The wild card finalists will be chosen from students who take pictures with King Warrior on Black and Gold Fridays with the appropriate hashtag. When asked to sum up the goal of the contest, Norris told <em>Imprint,</em> &ldquo;Ultimately, we hope that Ultimate Warrior will help to heighten Warrior spirit here at Waterloo.&rdquo;