Sidwell Friends Athletics enters Social Media Platforms

Sameer Shaikh '19

Quaker Athletics Instagram and Twitter pages are two ways the Sidwell Friends Athletic Department has made significant forward strides from a connection standpoint, both publicly and internally. 

Since early 2014, Sidwell Friends’ social media presence has remained largely confined to a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, and in 2016, an Instagram. The school has lacked, however, any accounts solely dedicated towards athletics. Sidwell Friends fell behind neighboring athletic programs such as Maret and St. Albans, who had already established such accounts and gained local attention. Bullis perhaps provided the most enviable model, with their rapidly expanding twitter athletics account boasting over 1,500 followers by Mid-2017. 

Aimed primarily at maximizing fan base, publicizing results and outcomes and lauding individual and collective accomplishments, the establishment of Twitter and Instagram pages devoted solely to Sidwell Athletics proved immediately successful. Spearheaded by new Athletic Director Keith Levinthal, the development process emphasized that each team sport be given some form of recognition, which ideally would result in increased interest in less mainstream Sidwell Friends programs. Both pages remain currently administered by a hired intern. 

The official Twitter feed of Sidwell Friends athletics effectively keeps the local community updated on recent or upcoming Sidwell Friends athletic events. Ranging from wrestling to boys freshman basketball, all levels of upper school teams are covered. Middle school teams have even received shoutouts through the page. Updates on opponents, game times and locations are routinely provided--ensuring an uptick in attendance and continuously encouraging support. 

Additionally, the account recognizes Sidwell Friends athletes who have received honors and reached milestones. By retweeting highlight videos and sharing articles from local publications, the feed also provides a thorough summary of game results. Throughout the winter season each boys and girls basketball game score has been posted, typically along with a statline, allowing even casual followers of Sidwell Friends athletics to keep pace with current Quaker progress.

The newly created Sidwell Friends athletics instagram page has been well-received here at school. Targeted more towards the Sidwell Friends student community itself, given the typically prevailing popularity of Instagram over Twitter amongst high school students, the page has accumulated nearly 270 followers within mere months of existence. Although to this point not as active as the Twitter feed, the account has already shown an equally wide range in it’s preliminary posts. Cross country, football, swimming, wrestling, dance and basketball have all been featured. Milestone moments such as Annie Boasberg’s 1,000th point and Coach John Simon’s 100th win have been recognized on the account as part of Quaker lore. 

As both accounts grow a following, daily connection with the athletic community will inevitably result.

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