What is getting in shape, having a good time and meeting new people all in one? One word: intramurals.
There are intramurals of all kinds, from flag football, volleyball and basketball to dominoes, Hot Wheels racing and ping pong. (For a list of all events, visit http://www.missouriwestern.edu/recreation/intramural_activities.asp).
Recreation Services and Facilities Director Wonda Berry chose a wide variety of sports because she says there is something out there for everybody. A lot of former high school athletes and former and current college athletes along with Greek students sign up, but Berry believes students don’t have to have physical talent to have a good time during these events.
“I have several Greek teams; I can remember some Phi Sigs who came out and didn’t even play basketball,” Berry said. “They didn’t do very well, as far as their record went, but they had a great time, and that’s what were here for; we want not only the students who do know how to play, but we want the students that have never played the sport before.”
Berry also stated she is adding some new games to the schedule, like broomball and floor hockey. While there are students who have played the main sports at the high school and collegiate level and already have experience and skills in those sports, adding these new games will put everybody back to zero; because these new games are not considered in the mainstream of sports, people will have an equal chance at winning the first place medal.
Yes, an actual medal.
Each category will have an all-time winner who will receive a hard medal (not those cheap plastic ones you win in t-ball and such).
Medals are just one incentive, however.
Playing intramurals are a good way to keep in shape. Junior Whitnee Allen has played basketball and volleyball intramurals in the past, and now she and her team are signed up for powder puff football this year.
“Mainly the reason we do intramurals — obviously we like all the sports — is because [my teammates] are like ‘I just need to run, I need the fitness, and I can’t do it by myself.’ So if there’s running involved and we don’t want to lose, then it works out,” Allen said. “College students need to be fit.”
She says they are very competitive, so powder puff and the other sports will allow her to release some agression.
Allen, Berry and student Ryan Smith all know how competitive the intramurals can get. Smith, who is majoring in physical education and minoring athletic coaching, works as a manager under Berry. He oversees all the activities and makes sure sportsmanship is enforced. Smith has also both played in and refereed intramurals in the past, so he knows how competitive the sports can get.
If you aren’t competitive, however, don’t let that scare you away.
“Intramurals are good for non-competitive and competitive people; sometimes Wonda will set it up to where certain teams will play others to try and to keep it equally balanced,” Smith said.
So far, flag football, powder puff and 3-on-3 basketball has already started, but there are plenty of games left to sign up for. The racquetball tournament’s entry date is Oct. 8 while volleyball is on Oct. 10. (For the schedule of upcoming events, click http://www.missouriwestern.edu/recreation/intramural_schedule.asp).
For those who want to do more of dance and yoga, there will be free classes open to students at the Baker Fitness Center — Turbo Kick will be on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 5 and 7, Zumba on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6-7, circuit training on Tuesdays from 5-6 and yoga on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 1 p.m.
There is also a mental intramural you can do on the internet called “Pigskin Picks.” All you need is the internet to participate in this game, and you can win a medal each week. It is an online list of college and NFL football games on Saturday and Sunday for the next 10 weeks that students, faculty and staff can choose to win. (For the “How to” submit picks for this game, click http://www.thegriffonnews.com/2012/09/how-to-make-your-pigskin-picks/ ).
Berry said the number of participants are increasing each year, but she would like to see a lot more for years to come. Smith knows how fun intramurals can be, and he also wants more students to compete.
“Come on out, whatever your favorite sport is, just come play and just have fun — see for yourself.”