College sports are not just for varsity athletes. With the dawn of a new school year, intramurals are just around the corner.
Offering a release from the pressures of class work, the quietness of the library and the shadows of missed opportunities on the athletic fields of yesteryear, intramurals open the door to opportunities to meet new people, have fun and compete.
Separated in three leagues – Greek, residential colleges and independents – intramurals is an entity of campus recreation under the direction of Steve Leitch.
“I was always the person who didn’t want to exercise unless someone was keeping score,” Leitch said. “I couldn’t just get on the treadmill with the TV on and I wasn’t into lifting weights unless it made me better at sports. I wasn’t running unless someone was chasing me or there was a point to be scored.”
Because of his own experience with exercise, the University of South Florida graduate said the leagues were set up so people can get the health and social benefits of sports.
“We have the leagues set up with competitive and noncompetitive teams because we want people to get up and moving around,” he said.
Camaraderie, Leitch said, is the biggest advantage of intramurals.
“Team-building and meeting friends,” he said. “All the friends I talk to from my undergraduate were on my intramural team, it’s all about being part of something.”
Five major sports are offered to students every year, slow-pitch softball, flag football, basketball, volleyball and soccer, but Leitch said suggestions were always welcome.
“We’ll throw in a couple minor events like the Homecoming Run – a 5K run on campus – and Greek Golf,” he said. “The residential colleges and the greeks also compete for a Presidents Cup which is an overall sports points participation competition. They get points for the different sports they played in and we will know which teams did the best out of all the sports combined, not just each individual sport.”