Sports staff picks: Sports to try out on campus

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Photo courtesy of @illiniesports Instagram

Junior Matt Bereman, member of IlliniEsports, plays Rainbow 6 Siege at the Purdue Invitational during the weekend of Jan. 15. The Daily Illini sports staff give their top picks on club sports students should try out.

By Sports Staff

Getting involved in sports on campus is daunting! It can be hard to take the plunge into a sport or activity which is new or doesn’t have the same people you grew up doing it with. Thankfully for any student looking to get involved in sports on campus, our staff has you covered. Here are the sports section’s top picks for clubs/intramurals to try out in your time on campus: 

Intramural Basketball

In my experience with intramural basketball, I have found a wide variety of skill levels, offering a great opportunity for anyone who wishes to play semi-competitive basketball in their free time. There is a lot of healthy competition, with most teams playing their hardest regardless of the skill of their opponent. Some teams will even have their friends come watch as spectators, which adds a lot to the environment. The courts at the ARC are very high quality for intramurals and there are referees and a functioning scoreboard, giving the games a much more ‘official’ feel than your standard game of pick-up. I would recommend intramural basketball to anyone looking for competitive basketball on campus, but doesn’t have the time or skills for club!

Conor Blount, Staff Writer

Club or Intramural Soccer

Getting involved in intramural soccer at Illinois has allowed me to stay active, meet new friends and continue playing the sport I’ve loved since second grade. It’s honestly something I look forward to at the start of each semester, and it’s an excellent way to de-stress after a long day of classes. If you love soccer, getting involved at the intramural or club level is essential. The competition at Illinois is solid and there are options for everyone. With men’s, women’s and co-ed leagues, there really is a place for anyone looking to either get into the sport for the first time or simply continue playing. The outdoor soccer leagues have students playing on the high-quality turf fields under the lights, and the indoor soccer leagues let students play fast-paced, futsal-style soccer on the hardwood courts. Whatever you’re interested in, there is an option for you here at Illinois.

James Kim, Assistant Sports Editor

Illini Esports

While I don’t have direct experience competing, I know that Illini Esports has a very welcoming community with future competition at the forefront of their vision. Illini Esports and its corresponding Discord server offer various ways of being involved in the Illinois esports scene, whether that is through management, competing, hosting events or even just gaming. The group has competitive teams in titles such as Valorant, Rocket League, League of Legends and more. After witnessing firsthand the amount of work that went into the group’s Spring LAN event in the Union basement and hearing of future events being hosted at State Farm Center, I can confirm Illini Esports is a great place for gamers to stay connected on campus and maintain a healthy online and social balance.

Drew Friberg, Sports Editor