By Sarah Ostergaard
Why write about Athletics in a column about Education? Last month’s column was intended to start a conversation about the meaning of “an education.” An education should be well-rounded, to include extracurricular pursuits including but not limited to athletics.
And YOU can be part of our student athletes’ cheering section. Our local youth pour their hearts into athletic competitions and they notice if there are spectators in the stands. They hear your encouragement. They see you in the stands. They notice when the community shows up to support them. You matter.
You are invited – to come be a part of the 2023-2024 athletic fall, winter, and spring seasons.
The fall lineup includes volleyball, football, girls’ golf, girls tennis, swimming, and cross country. Winter sports are wrestling and basketball. Spring sports showcase lacrosse, soccer, baseball and softball, boys’ golf, boys’ tennis, and track and field. Mark your calendars now to attend when you can. Each sports team’s schedule should be available online: https://irmoathletics.org or visit the school’s website and click on the Athletics tab.
Tickets for individual competitions are purchased through the home school’s website. But you can skip that hassle and join Irmo High School’s athletic booster club: the Irmo Yellow Jacket Club (“IYJC” for short). The IYJC offers memberships that can save you money and time. An IYJC membership entitles you to benefits such as parking, admission to regular season home events, and more, depending on the membership level you choose:
• Patron, $30: Reserved parking pass.
• Yellow Stinger, $100: 1 pass to all 2023-2024 Irmo Athletics regular season home sporting events; reserved parking pass.
• Black Stinger, $175: 2 passes to all 2023-2024 Irmo Athletics regular season home sporting events; reserved parking pass.
• Golden Stinger, $275: 4 passes to all 2023-2024 Irmo Athletics regular season home sporting events; reserved parking pass; 1 football program.
To join the IYJC and select your package, go to https://forms.gle/p8ELT9D8F9thKtqs7 or pick up a form at the Athletic Office, which is next to the stadium behind Irmo High School. The online form is also conveniently pinned to the top of the IYJC Twitter account: @IrmoYJClub.
What else does it mean to be an IYJC member? Members are invited to the IYJC annual meeting, normally held in April. Big picture, you join with other Irmo Athletics supporters in providing extra financial support for all our athletic teams. The IYJC pays for “extras” that aren’t so extra but aren’t included in the normal budget. The IYJC works with teams to supplement their own fundraising; for example, the IYJC helped the Irmo Cheer team purchase new uniforms, the tennis team pay for a ball machine, tournament entrance fees for the swimming and cross country teams, and more. The IYJC purchases the varsity letters and pins that recognize outstanding effort and achievement. The IYJC purchased the State Championship rings for all members of our winning basketball team, so parents did not have to and everyone could have one (they earned it.). This fall, the IYJC paid for each senior to have a sports banner, so the parents don’t have to foot the bill and each senior athlete is celebrated.
The IYJC is comprised entirely of volunteers – community members and parents – who recognize the value athletics plays in a well-rounded education. IYJC volunteers raise money through the sale of memberships and concessions at football and basketball games. The IYJC also welcomes sponsorships from businesses and donations from alumni groups. Is your IHS reunion coming up? Please consider a donation to the IYJC from your class. All funds raised go right back to Irmo teams.
Additionally, if you are older than 60, LexRich5 offers a Golden Pass that allows entrance into regular-season athletic and arts events district-wide for free. You may stop into the District Office on Dutch Fork Road anytime Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, to pick up a one-year pass. For more information about the Golden Pass, please call the District Office at 476-8000.
Whether an IYJC member or Golden Pass holder, check out the athletic schedules and plan to attend to cheer on your home teams. Your support and presence are appreciated and your impact makes a difference.
Be part of the excitement and join the Irmo Yellow Jacket Club today.