Rethink the spirit of the rink: From a Teletubby’s point of view

Sarah Hardiman, Contributing Writer

Tinky Winky, Lala, Dipsy and Po. The iconic Teletubbies as seen on TV starting in 1997, were a nostalgic part of my childhood and the pinnacle of the spirit at Quinnipiac University hockey games. If I could look back on my first year as a student at Quinnipiac, I would never believe that I would suit up as one of my childhood idols.

The reason I joined QU Spirit, a student organization focused on growing school spirit and collaboration with sports teams, was to be involved in the greater Quinnipiac and Hamden community. I do not just want to be another student – I want to engage in the community. College is a part of growing and maturing, and I want to expand my community further into a larger range of Connecticut.

As someone from a different state, I wanted to be as involved as I could in this small town. I am from Rhode Island, the smallest state with the biggest heart, which means so much to me, but I have always had a love to explore new areas in New England. Another reason for joining the Teletubby troupe is because I was a cheerleader in high school – spirit is just a part of my DNA. Coming from an all-girls small catholic high school, I was not used to the large crowds of hockey games. Even though it was a big difference, it made me enthralled to be a part of this amazing on-campus organization.

Being in this organization has made me feel like I am a part of something bigger – an ongoing tradition at the university. I am not the first Teletubby and I am certainly not the last.

A Quinnipiac teletubby is a deep-rooted tradition that draws so many individuals in. It makes QU special. Being a Teletubby is a silly, fun, yet well respected role at the infamous hockey games.

The first thing you do as a Teletubby on gameday is getting to the hockey game an hour early. We then suit up, practice our dance moves and warm up our voices. Both times I was a Teletubby, I was so glad that I was the yellow Teletubby because it resembles sunshine.

One of my favorite parts about being a Teletubby is all the little kids who attend the hockey games. Their faces light up when they see us walk by and I always challenge them to give me the most difficult high five that they can give me. As someone studying elementary education, this is by far the highlight of the hockey games. Being a Teletubby is a high position to hold because I not only represent the QU Spirit troupe, but Quinnipiac as a whole.

Although I have only been Lala, the yellow Teletubby, I feel as though I have grown so much from this experience. Being a Teletubby at two hockey games so far has been exciting. I got to cheer on Quinnipiac as they played Providence College, my mother’s alma mater. She felt so proud and a little bit annoyed for cheering against her team. Nonetheless, she supported me all the way with my love for the school and wore her “Quinnipiac Mom” sweatshirt.

At that time, I was used to the classic Friday night lights of football games in high school, not the bright strobe lights shining down on the rink. When I was a first-year student last year, I went to my first hockey game to watch the game just for fun. I was ecstatic to see part of Quinnipiac’s culture — the Teletubbies — that is so iconic here. Part of the reason I chose QU was because of the culture of hockey games.

I wish I joined QU Spirit as a first-year student because of how much it has helped me get out of my comfort zone. The process to become a Teletubby includes auditioning in front of the QU Spirit executive board and learning a few dance moves, such as the pep band’s iconic rendition of The Champs’ “Tequila.”

As a sophomore, I am proud to say that I am part of the QU Spirit club on campus, known to me as the “Tubby Community.” The process of becoming a Teletubby on campus is rather simple: anyone with a love for Bobcat sports and a witty personality is perfect for the job.

Although being a Teletubby is an amazing part of QU Spirit, there are so many other amazing ways to be involved in the organization, such as collaborating with the sports teams and fans to cheer on fellow Bobcats.

Cheering to the music and dancing to the beats of the drums makes my heart feel full. I hope that being Lala has not only impacted on me but impacted and inspired those around me.

I aspire to be a good role model, as well as a positive face for this university during hockey games. Sports games usually have bad reputations for screaming and vulgar language against the other team. Quinnipiac’s spirit team has turned the tables for what good sportsmanship is defined as. The teletubby troupe at Quinnipiac is for the people who want to “kill them with kindness.”