Krystin Paine Contributing Writer
Intramural sports let students and many faculty members of UMF get exercise and have fun in an inclusive way. Intramurals consist of co-ed teams playing games like basketball, volleyball, kickball, flag football, indoor soccer and many others, including some water sports.
Jake Harris, senior and psychology major, has been doing these sports since his sophomore year. “I think there is definitely a need for intramural sports. My teams have always had a really enjoyable environment and being able to kick back and play mediocre volleyball is so fun for me,” he said. “We don’t win often, but that is the beauty of our team. We play to have fun rather than to win, so being able to keep a fun environment when losing is something not a lot of teams can do.”
Harris had only one minor drawback. “I don’t agree with allowing college level athletes to play intramurals. . .I wish there was a separate tier system for intramurals because it feels as if someone who doesn’t play basketball regularly won’t have a chance against the college athletes.”
Garrett Pooler, sophomore and rehabilitation major, is new to intramural sports, having only started playing this year. “I just got asked to play and thought why not do it. I knew nothing about the sport I was getting into but figured it would be a lot of fun,” he said. “I was definitely right as I’ve had a great time and have made a lot of new friends that I value deeply.”
Pooler felt his involvement with intramurals has had a positive impact on him. “I think intramural sports is one of the best things this campus offers. I know for myself I didn’t do them my freshman year and I wish I had. It gives me a reason to go out to see people I may not normally see or interact with. It also promotes exercise in a fun way than just running.”
David Blattstein, junior and community health major, agreed with both Pooler and Harris. “I find it is a positive reinforcer for meeting new people, getting physical exercise, and possibly sparking new interests.”
Blattstein transferred to UMF his sophomore year and felt welcomed by joining these teams. “This immediate new homebody of a friend group let me tag along with them into all their activities and daily events, which would lead me to join intramurals. It has given me something to look forward too,” he said.
“Especially on a very stressful day, knowing I’ll be with most of my friends makes the day much more bearable.” Blattstein believes that intramurals give the people of UMF a chance to challenge themselves and push out of a comfort zone they might not always get pushed out of. “Even if you’re not interested in sports, or have no desire to, I think everyone should try it at least once throughout their college experience.”
Intramural volleyball and soccer have two of the sports to take place in the Fitness and Recreation Center this past month. To sign up for an Intramural sport contact Leah Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org or go on their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ umfimsports/.