(Photo courtesy UMass Lowell website) “Intramural sports can have a lot of positive benefits and it is definitely worth a shot.”
Intramural sports can be a fun and engaging way of allowing students to get out of their comfort zone and get exposure to college life. Classes and schoolwork can be stressful and boring for a lot of students, which is why participating in a fun and engaging activity can help alleviate those problems. This is where intramural sports can serve a purpose.
At UMass Lowell, there are many recreational sports and fitness activities available for students. Sports that are offered include basketball, billiards, broomball, dodgeball, flag football, hockey, kickball, racket sports, soccer, tennis, softball, team handball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, wallyball and wiffleball. There are five competitive divisions, which are A division (high-level competition), B division (intermediate competition), C division (lower-level competition), Just For Fun division (non-competitive) and the unified division (Special Olympics athletes). These events take place at the Campus Recreation Center on East Campus. If students are not interested in competing and just want to have fun, then the C division or Just For Fun division may be the right fit. There is a wide range of flexibility that accommodates the needs of all students.
So, what are the benefits of intramural sports? It is a good way to connect with new people. Especially for freshmen, as most incoming college students do not know each other, so intramural sports can be a good way to make new friends. It can also be very difficult for commuter students to make friends, so intramural sports is a good way to achieve that goal. Being around people of similar interests can also help form bonds.
Sports are very popular and played by millions of people around the world, which is why intramural sports would be a good attraction for students. It is also a great source of exercise and stress relief. As long as it doesn’t interfere with schoolwork, it can be a good source of entertainment.
Marcus Cole, coordinator of UMass Lowell intramural sports, echoed a similar stance on the benefits of participating in intramural sports. During the interview, he stated that intramural sports are “supposed to be fun, yet competitive.” Cole believes that people usually make friends, and it is a good way to feel relieved of stress from schoolwork. Similar to Patel, Cole played intramural sports when he was an undergraduate student at UMass Lowell. Cole played soccer, dodgeball, flag football and basketball. Cole said, “I pretty much played every sport that was offered.” Overall, Cole states that he would recommend intramural sports to fellow students on campus.
Divyam Patel, a freshman at UMass Lowell, had a positive experience from playing intramural sports. On the topic of intramural sports, Patel said, “[They allow you to] step away from your college life into a more enjoyable environment.” Patel believes that it provides good exercise and allows you to stay active. Patel played intramural basketball last semester and said, “[It was] very fun.” Their team started off in the C division, but then got moved up to the B division due to their great performance. Patel also states that he usually goes to the Campus Rec Center every day after school. Overall, Patel said that he would recommend intramural sports to fellow students on campus.
Douglas Desmarais, another freshman at UML, also shares a positive opinion on intramural sports. Although Desmarais has not participated in them, he believes that the biggest benefit of
playing intramural sports is that it gives non-competitive students who are not competing at the collegiate level a way of having casual fun and getting in some exercise. “It’s a good opportunity to make new friends and stay active while not having to worry about a super competitive environment,” Desmarais said. When talking about commuter students, Desmarais said that playing intramural sports definitely impacts them, as it gives them an opportunity to be a part of something fun, since they don’t have a dorm to go back to. Desmarais also believes that it is a good way to help alleviate stress from schoolwork, and that it is an easier way to make friends compared to the classroom setting. Desmarais states it is very engaging and requires teamwork, which allows better social interaction. When asked, Demarais expressed his interest in playing intramural sports in the future.
Intramural sports can have a lot of positive benefits and it is definitely worth a shot. Especially for commuter students, this could be a good option for engagement in college activities.