Intramural Sports: Come for the Game, Stay for the Connections

Ginny Katz, Multimedia Contributor

Many firsts happened in the year of 1916. Women were just granted permission to begin attending boxing matches, the first professional golf tournament and women’s swimming championships commenced, and Boy Scouts of America had just been created. It was in this same year that visionary, Dr. A. D. Brown, officially formalized the Oregon State University ‘Intramural Athletic Program’, making OSU the third institution in the nation to implement a an Intramural Program for students.

Campus Recreation and the Dixon Center are making this 100 year celebration the best time in history to join intramural sports. In addition to the multiple celebratory events planned for this fall, including an After Dark Birthday Bash on Oct. 21, there will be free individual and team competitions for prizes.

The 2016 Fall term will be offering wheelchair basketball, flag football, volleyball, and bowling with league options for every competitor.

“Intramural sports are a fun environment for students to participate with their friends at a social or competitive level, depending on preference,” said Samantha Rodenberg, Sport Program Coordinator and Interdisciplinary Studies graduate student. “It’s a time for students to get away from their studies, relax, and connect with their friends or other students that they just met.”

Public health graduate student Colin Albi, describes the impact he has seen and why he will be registering for his 7th year in intramural sports.

“It’s a great way to deepen friendships outside of the classroom,” Albi said. “It’s really important to remove yourself from the classroom environment and socialize with people in a different context.”

Beyond being an organized sports outlet for students, intramural sports has carried the initiative of creating confident leaders by facilitating personal and professional growth.

“We really want to push our sports leadership aspect program and really help build the community on campus.” Centennial Coordinator Easton Henrikson explains.

Henrikson strongly recommends attending the student and staff forums with guest speaker Paul Wesslemann, on Oct. 20 and 21 that will focus on finding your best self through work and personal health balance.

While the overall motive of Intramural Sports has not changed, society has very much changed and the program has kept up with the progress. OSU has created more equal playing grounds for women’s athletic events with coed teams, as well as offering adaptive sports such as wheelchair basketball that all students are encouraged to try.

For those that may still be hesitant about joining due to lack of sport or athletic experience, fear not. Intramurals offers both competitive and purely social level options, but places more importance on the connections that will happen, at both levels.

“The connections that people have far outweigh the athletic competition,” Henrikson stated. “What people remember are the connections. You don’t remember the score, you only remember the people you were there with and the community that was created in intramural.”