Intramurals are more than just fun and games — they keep students healthy

Amanda Vasil

With spring break creeping up around the corner and students becoming antsy with cabin fever, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center offers a solution — intramurals.

This semester, more than 20 tournaments, leagues and individual and dual contests are being offered by the Department of Recreational Services’ Intramural Sports Program, providing an opportunity for students to have fun, meet new people and stay in shape.

Greg Bailey, intramural and club sports coordinator, said there are more than 1,000 participants in intramural basketball and indoor soccer now. Students can sign up for the intramurals at the rec center or online at Volleyball is the next sport taking sign-ups, which run Feb. 28 to March 11.

As the oldest program offered at the rec, intramurals were originally created to be a non-varsity program allowing students to be involved in athletics, Bailey said.

“Our bodies age every day, and it gets harder and harder to maintain shape,” Bailey said.

He encourages participating in team sports rather than only being involved in instructional programs.

Participating in intramurals offers a combination of recreation and fitness for Liz Casey, graduate clinical psychology major.

“I played college basketball and wanted to keep playing competitively. It’s better than running on a treadmill,” she said.

Casey said she enjoys intramurals because it takes her mind off school.

Many students start a team through the organizations they are involved with on campus, such as sororities, fraternities and common interests.

Anthony Lopez, senior biochemistry major, volunteered to organize teams for his fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau. He said he feels intramurals provide an outlet to a non-physical daily routine.

“On campus, you don’t have anything to do to keep in shape. In intramurals, you’re always running, always doing something healthy,” he said. “It’s only once a week, but it’s once more a week than I’d normally be running.”

Students who participate in intramurals, however, don’t always use it as their only means of exercise.

Stephanie Bryan, senior business management major, is a member of multiple teams and finds time to work out five to six times a week. Each sport offers a different level of physical fitness, she said.

“Basketball is good for staying in shape, but softball and flag football are more for fun,” Bryan said.

Bailey agreed intramurals are intended to be physically challenging, while at the same time creating positive memories of college life.

“I think anyone who has at least attempted physical activity understands that it is fun as long as they keep it fun,” he said. “They will have memories of winning the championship of Kent (State) intramurals or the great game they played or the game the officials cost them.”

Other benefits Bailey sees comes from intramurals are networking opportunities, social and time management skills and a continuation of a lifetime of fitness and wellness.

“Intramurals are a blast,” Bryan said. “If you win, you get a T-shirt.”

Contact club sports reporter Amanda Vasil at [email protected].