Cultivate sports passion through campus involvement


The Daily Illini File Photo

Sophomore Ayo Dosunmu pushes forward during the match against Purdue on Jan. 5 at State Farm Center.

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor

Welcome to the University of Illinois, home to the Fighting Illini. While Illinois hasn’t always run the Big Ten with dominance, it looks like the Orange and Blue are starting to have a much brighter future with Brad Underwood’s recruiting and Lovie Smith teaching his players to cause turnovers. However, if you’re like me, you’ll probably not be able to play with these Division I athletes. Having said that, there are plenty of Illini clubs that allow you to stay connected with sports. 

In high school, I was fortunate enough to participate in numerous sports. However, given my limited athletic ability — the second slowest kid on the track team — I always prided myself of being more of a watcher. I could remember the strangest of sports stats, with my claim to fame being able to recite any Rose Bowl score since 1980. So when I came to Illinois, there were plenty of options for me to check out. 

One of the longest run organizations at Illinois is WPGU radio, a student run radio station that gives an open platform for its talent to talk about sports. Whether you’re more interested in talking about the Chicagoland teams or Illini athletics, WPGU is a fantastic place to test out radio. 

If you want to experience the behind-the-scenes side of sports, Illinois provides a number of clubs that range from business to law. If you want to see what it’s like to be a sports agent, the Sports and Entertainment Law Society might provide a good look into the field. Aside from educating interested members in the legal issues while representing a client, the club provides opportunities within the sports and entertainment industries. 

Another club that provides a behind the scene look is the Sports Business Association. Being exposed to guest speakers, professional conferences, workshops and volunteer opportunities, this RSO strives to offer students quality opportunities to experience, investigate and explore the multi-billion dollar industry of sports.

Now, if you decided you aren’t quite ready to retire from competitive athletics, Illinois has you covered. Aside from a bunch of competitive Division I club programs, i.e. the hockey and soccer team, Illinois offers intramurals that give anyone the chance to compete against their peers. If you are interested, you can compete in intramurals that include almost any sport you can think of.

Finally, if you plan on supporting your Division I teams, there might not be a better way to show your spirit than to join the Orange Krush. By signing up with the Illini Pride Student Athletic Board, you open the door for opportunities to improve the community and provide enthusiasm throughout the student body. And while the fall season is getting postponed to the spring, you’ll still have the chance to cheer on the Illini in a spring time overload and help the Orange Krush become one of the premier student sections in the nation. 

Illinois is more than studying. Illinois is home to top tier athletes from all across the globe and some of the most storied programs in collegiate history. However, your sports involvement doesn’t end with just cheering on star basketball players Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn. By choosing Illinois, you have given yourself the opportunity to continue your personal athletic desires or find a new path in the sports world. 


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