Kicking off the school year with intramural sports on campus

By James Kim, Sports Editor

Every year, thousands of high school student athletes hear that whistle for the last time. This sound marks the end of an era for the majority of senior students, as their time playing competitive sports has come to an end.

However, while only a select few are able to continue competing at the Division I level, there is still a great option available for all students on campus. Intramural sports allow students to stay active while offering healthy competition during the semester.

For Quinn Athas, freshman in Engineering, joining the intramural scene at Illinois was always the plan after wrapping up four years of high school soccer. While Athas looked forward to continuing to play in college, intramurals also offered a lot socially.

“The team we had was a lot of my friends,” Athas said. “But it was also just random people we found playing soccer before the season started. It was just a great way of meeting new people from a lot of different backgrounds my freshman year.”

For any incoming students looking to get involved in intramurals on campus, there is a significant range of sports to choose from.

In addition to soccer, the University offers football, basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, badminton and a wide variety of other sports and activities that can be found listed on the official campus recreation site.

Notably, joining an intramural league isn’t overly time consuming. A typical intramural regular season runs for approximately three weeks, with the ensuing playoffs lasting another two weeks. Teams play one game per week, and when signing up, students are able to pick a specific day and time of the week that best fits in with their schedule.

“It’s only an hour or two of commitment a week,” Athas said. “It’s really nice because it forces me to have a break from school, get out and be active and just be social with the people on my team.”

While intramurals are a great option for students looking to continue playing in college, they are also a great option for those looking to try out a sport for the first time. The competition is low stakes, creating an environment focused on allowing students to have a social space to spend time being active and having fun.

The start of the semester can be a nerve-wracking time for many, and being a part of an intramural sport is a great way to alleviate some of that stress. Offering both social and health benefits, intramurals are an excellent place to start getting involved in the on campus community at Illinois.

“I think my biggest advice is to just do it,” Athas said. “There’s no harm in just joining a team or trying to build a team. Even if it doesn’t go well in the aspect that you’re winning all the time, it’s still a good experience to have and it’s just a ton of fun.”



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