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The benefits of intramural sports

Not just for over-competitive assholes anymore

Article: Liam Fitz-Gerald – Contributor

Why be in the stands when you could be on the court? /Emily Wright
Why be in the stands when you could be on the court? /Emily Wright

For many students, whether freshman or senior, the first week of classes can be flustering.

There are new people, activities and new stresses. Luckily, intramural sports offer a way to relieve stress with numerous game choices, ranging from soccer to dodgeball to flag football, and even inner tube water polo.

Getting started in intramural sports is fairly straightforward, says Intramural Sports Coordinator Alison Fisher and Program Supervisor Riley Burns. Students can get involved by heading to the Center for Kinesiology office 171.

“We can pretty much give you all the information you need from there,” said Burns.

To sign up, students can visit www.Iamleagues.com and then find the University of Regina domain.

“All the sports in the fall and winter semester are listed there,” Burns said.

Of course, there is a fee involved and it is recommended to pay first at the office before signing up online. If people have trouble with the website, the students at the office will help out.

Many students are concerned with intramural sports being overly competitive, but Burns says that isn’t the case.

“Every level of skill is welcome,” Burns reassures, as intramural sports welcome mass participation as opposed to elite competition.

“If we notice teams being too competitive, we ask them to move out of recreational to competitive,” says Fisher who credits intramurals for letting people play for fun.

According to third-year education student Kirstie Berger, she believes her time in intramural sports has been constructive.

”There’s really good sportsmanship in intramural sports,” she said.

“I liked it,” declared Thomas Bresciani, a third year kinesiology student. “It was nice. It almost felt like you were playing with friends. It was very chillaxed.”

However, senior student Carson Behiel thinks some competition is inevitable.

“I was expecting [the competition],” said Behiel. “The fun league is still somewhat competitive to a certain level.”

All in all, some friendly competition isn’t a bad thing, provided it doesn’t get out of hand.

“I almost found it 50/50,” Berger said. “You get the few teams there to win and take it competitively, but then you get teams put together to relieve stress in school. Once they start to lose, they’re okay with it.”

Students who participate in intramural sports can learn some practical and leadership skills. Behiel says that team captains must show leadership.

For captains, it’s about being a role model. They must be positive about the game’s outcome and being positive about the referee’s call.

“Our team captains really step up and take on leadership roles, learning the skill set of managing a team, [and] coordinating a bunch of people,” Fisher said.

Outstanding players and team captains could become future referees or help manage the leagues from the office.

For Behiel, who worked construction over the summer, he acknowledges intramural sports for giving him perseverance.

“Basketball taught me determination…when you’re working in plus-thirty weather, you have to keep going even if you want to quit,” he said.

One thing that intramurals do successfully is build a sense of community on campus. “In high school, the community setting was there for you. But in university, if you’re not participating, you can be left alone,” Berger said.

“[Intramurals] give you an attachment to the university,” Bresciani highlights.

If participants wish to join, but do not have enough members for a team, they can be placed on teams by the intramural staff. All they have to do is sign up and they will be placed. Student societies are also welcome to create teams.

Still, Berger and Bresciani have some constructive criticism for campus intramurals.

“I found the starting times hard,” Bresciani confessed, admitting he didn’t like some games going until 11:00 PM. With the University locked, students living in residence have to walk outside through the snow in winter.

But despite the late nights and cold weather, the students were quite positive over intramural sports and recommend everyone take part.

“You feel involved,” Bresciani said. “I find way too many people now-a-days don’t express themselves in a group.”

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