Saturday night in Toronto – History was made.
Admittedly knowing very little about the sport or the Raptors themselves, the significance and importance to the Toronto community has not been lost on me.
This is the first time the Raptors have ever made it this far in the playoffs – and for a city suffering from a sports hardware drought, this is a very big deal.
Regardless of the outcome, the next round is going to be emotionally charged and will ignite the Toronto spirit. Passion and community will be fierce. Even those that may not typically follow the sport will be fully behind their city and the spirit of which it evokes with its residents.
One thing the citizens of Toronto excel at is support. So numbers will be high in the amount of people out there showing support for the sport they love, the team they love, and especially the city they love. And while this increase of numbers is for a positive event – and majority if not all of the people will be out to support and celebrate, an increase in numbers is a call for security.
Even when crowds gather in joyous celebration, situations can evolve quickly. Whether intentional or unintentional, risk escalates as crowds grow.
An increase in numbers can pose as a risk.
Over crowding, tight spaces, over excitement, rushes, exits and entrances all become potential issues. As does the over indulgence that often goes hand in hand with celebrations.
While all of these things can happen anywhere and at any time, and are not typically intentional or meant to cause harm – having a heightened sense of awareness is definitely something to keep in mind.
Being mindful of the crowd and their mood, where your exit points are and having a game plan of your own are all good tools for an uneventful-eventful evening. While its not always possible (or reasonable) to leave a few minutes before something ends to avoid a potential rush, hanging back to let the crowds lead the way while you enjoy and live in the moment can have its advantages. You’re staying out of the crowd, keeping yourself and your mood more relaxed, and avoiding potential line ups and the probable pushing and shoving that comes along with moving down the street as a huge group.
Should you decide to stay as a group and move with the numbers, ensuring you have open lines of communication with your friends, and a potential meeting place if someone gets separated are both good options to ensure that the same group that went out together, gets home together safely.
From a security stand point, going out to enjoy this next round – and any event with a significant number of attendees, as prepared as we can be, if you too are prepared it is definitely helpful. Being open, mindful, having a heightened sense of awareness, and planning ahead are all traits that we should have day to day – but especially in numbers.
While these games will be hopefully celebrated by all, there is often that one individual that for various reasons can impede on a good time. Being aware of them (and staying away) is probably your best course of action.
Knowing that there should and most likely will be an increase in security and police presence at any known gathering spots or events should not be a concern. Police and security are there to ensure a good time is had by all and that nothing gets out of hand and everyone is safe.
Some people may think that having a heavy police presence and security presence is something to fear – when really it should be the exact opposite.
Most importantly, remember that everyone is in this together. The Toronto community is gathering to support all the hopes and dreams of not just the Raptors – but all of our teams. Our entire community. Whether you are a basketball supporter or not – if you are a Toronto supporter, this matters.
We the North – its our time to bring it home
Guest Blogger Rayna Davies
Rayna Davies is a graduate and practitioner of Business Management. She has developed an expertise in blogging, covering subjects like travel, world events and security. Having grown up with a father who has developed an expertise in Physical Security and Executive Protection in the RCMP and two major corporations, she has personally observed and experienced many security details. These experiences have included personally meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and many celebrities. She presently assists Sentinel Security in Executive Protection workshops and guest blogging and also assists Gloprosec Preventative Services in Intelligence gathering and Business Administration. Her passions include World travel, having visited every continent.