Melanie Zhang ’19
The Westlake Fan Club is a new addition to WHS, and it doesn’t occur at lunch in a classroom. Instead, it is a program that allows students to receive points to be put in raffles for tickets to pro sports games, concerts, Hamilton and a grand prize of $5,000.
The Fan Club was started by siblings Michael Shahidi ‘19 and Isabella Shahidi ‘21 and their father Alex Shahidi, who meant for the Fan Club to be a way to increase school spirit.
“It’s a way to get more participation for sports that people don’t usually attend,” said Michael Shahidi. “So to do that we have a program that encourages people to go to games.”
The program works by scanning students ID cards during games. Each game is worth a different amount of points. These are added to a student’s overall points, and each point is worth one ticket in the raffle. The raffle happens once a sports season with the grand prize of $5,000 being in May. If the participant is present at the raffle when it occurs, he or she will win four tickets to a concert or game of hi or her choice, and if they are not, he or she wins two tickets of their choice and the other two will be raffled to a student present.
Alex Shahidi hopes that this program will motivate students to show school spirit.
“I noticed that there weren’t a lot of fans at the sporting events, so I tried to think of a program that would incentivise kids to go,” said Alex Shahidi. “We are trying to encourage people to go to events, [and] we thought good prizes [would] be Hamilton tickets or LA sports [tickets].”
The program’s goal is to increase attendance at games which usually do not receive as much attention.
“In the main sports, football, basketball, we have good turnout, but the idea here is to [get people to] come to the less popular games,…sports that aren’t heavily attended,” said athletics director Brad Katz. “We wanted kids to go out and support as well.”
In order to make the Fan Club come to life, Alex Shahidi did a lot of planning to get the inner workings running smoothly.
“The first obstacle is making sure that it’s going to work, you got to put a lot of time into it,” said Alex Shahidi. “And there’s a lot of details, so we spent a lot of time thinking through all the details and all the things that could go wrong.”
Alex Shahidi credits Michael and Isabella for contributing to the WHS Fan Club in their own ways.
“[Michael and Isabella] see things from the kids’ perspective…They’ve had a lot of good ideas [that] they’ve incorporated into this program,” said Alex Shahidi. “They’re spreading the word by telling their friends [and] posting it on Instagram and Snapchat.”
Additionally, Michael Shahidi hopes that students might participate in sports as a result of going to more school games.
“I think this would help us…increase participation in sports because [students are] more exposed to sports that [they] normally would not go and see,” said Michael Shahidi. “Let’s say I never played water polo, but if I go to a game and it looks really fun, I might start playing.”
For more information on points totals for students, please visit the Fan Club tab on http://westlakeathletics.com/.