Story by Blake Bernier, Staff writer
After several sports were added over the summer, including a new co-recreation division for softball and volleyball, Steven Leitch, Director of Campus Recreation at Murray State, is busy preparing for the upcoming intramural seasons
The co-recreation divisions will be slowly introduced throughout the year on a trial basis but Leitch has high hopes that it will catch on.
“If it goes how I think it will go we will see even more co-rec divisions next year,” Leitch said.
This year the department of recreation also added several new sports for students and faculty to compete in such as a three-on-three basketball tournament, a bowling tournament, a racquetball tournament and an athletic combine. Leitch said he hopes to see a spike in participation rates this year and thinks the new sports can help make that possible.
Shelby Gore, female athletic director for Hart College, said getting involved in intramurals is relatively simple.
Each residential college has an athletic director for both males and females and they are in charge of recruiting and organizing teams for each sport. Each residential college has signups available for students and faculty, as well as meetings to explain rules and assign teams.
Gore said she makes it a point to talk to the freshmen to try and get them involved each year.
“I always recommend students to play for many reasons, but the big one would be because it is a great way to make friends and get involved in your residential college or within your social group,” Gore said.
The male athletic director for White College, Adam Warren, echoed Gore’s sentiments, saying that in his first year he didn’t know anyone but he played multiple sports and that’s how he met his current roommate and all of his friends.
It’s not just students that are encouraged to play intramural sports either. Biology professor Chris Trzepacz is the new head of Clark College and ready to begin his fifth year of intramural softball.
Trzepacz said he plays for two reasons: because he loves softball and because it provides an opportunity to get to know some of the students.
“It’s a great way to interact with the students, because often students view faculty as if they are up on a pedestal or unapproachable but this allows me to interact with them and break those barriers,” Trzepacz said.
Leitch said he hopes to continue to add more sports to provide more opportunities for the campus community to improve their overall wellness.
“Participating in intramural sports increases your physical wellness by being active, and your social and emotional wellness because of the camaraderie of working with a team,” Leitch said.
Leitch said that making an intramural season happen is not work, it is fun.
However, there are occasionally challenges securing facility space and the most time consuming aspect is preparing and training officials.
“The ultimate goal of an intramural season is for everyone to be a winner,” Leitch said. “I don’t mean to sound cliche because we hype the competition, but it’s true.”
Softball will begin on Sept. 8 for both men and women, while the co-recreation season is set to begin on Sept. 12.
Meetings for softball captains are at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31 and Tuesday, Sept. 1 in Carr Health Room 103.
All participants in intramurals are required to sign up at imleagues.com. A full schedule as well as announcements and updates are available online.