Photo provided by Kyle Hayes: Lewis students show show competitive spirit while playing intramural soccer.
Kyle Hayes, Contributor and Dave Hansen, Online Editor-in-Chief contributed to this story
At Lewis University, there are students who don’t necessarily meet the skill level of collegiate athletics, and intramural sports are an alternative program where they can get the opportunity to compete on a friendlier playing field.
There are leagues for players of every skill level, according to Assistant Director of Student Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Adam Burkhart.
“We’ve expanded the number of events for our sports,” Burkhart said. “There’s a fun league, amateur league and competitive league, as well as a women’s league in our most popular sports.”
Junior elementary and special education major Abby Michels, an intramural official and scorekeeper, said intramurals are a perfect way to meet new people on campus.
“It’s generally a great community to be a part of,” said Michels. “Whether you’re coming to compete or to just support your friends, it’s definitely a way to get more involved.”
According to freshman history and secondary education major Nick Falese, intramurals are a stress reliever.
“It’s a way to just get away from the whole school atmosphere,” Falese said. “It’s good to want to take a break, be active and hang out with friends.”
In the past few years, Burkhart has introduced new sports to the Lewis intramural community. Amongst the favorites, some students are looking forward to arena football, which is scheduled for the spring.
“Before, [arena football] was just fun, but it continues to expand, and students are looking forward to it more,” Burkhart said. “Once flag football season ends, students are already preparing for arena football. It’s something that has been a staple in our program.”
Intramural volleyball is another sport the student body looks forward to in the spring semester. Burkhart describes intramural volleyball as “iconic.”
“A lot of people want volleyball both semesters, but it would take away from the excitement,” he said. “This year the entire month of March is volleyball, and students are already excited for it, from the competitive league to the fun league.”
Michels cannot wait for volleyball to start next semester.
“It’s my favorite sport,” she said. “This year I’m training to be a head ref which is something I’m really trying to work at, and maybe do it in the future.”
According to Burkhart, intramurals are now viewed differently from the days when he was an undergrad here at Lewis.
“My goal was to keep the students involved, let them compete, have fun, make new friends and give them something to do,” Burkhart said. “It’s sort of my inspiration. I get to see friendships form and students connect with other students like themselves, and I want to keep them engaged.”
For Lewis students and faculty interested in becoming involved in intramural sports, according to Burkhart there’s never a bad time. You can register at imleagues.com, and sign up today.