Students play intramural sports to stay involved

Noah Thomas | Sports Editor

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Whether it be the newcomers of the freshman class or transfer students, getting involved on campus can be difficult. This goes double if one doesn’t know what they are interested in, but intramural sports can offer an outlet to those looking to continue what they loved doing in high school.

One of the major areas of involvement on UNCW’s campus, intramural sports range from recreational get-togethers amongst friends to full-fledged competitive leagues. The open-to-everyone format of intramural sports is designed in various ways, but all accomplish the same goal of offering a welcome, fun environment.

Despite the plethora of sporting clubs to choose from, indoor and outdoor soccer has become one of the most popular activities. Games can be seen being played inside the Student Recreation Center (SRC) and in the adjacent Gazebo Recreation Fields.

Lanre Badmus, now entering his sophomore year, said he decided to play intramural soccer because of his previous experience with the sport, but to also open the door to creating friendships while meeting new people.

“Playing soccer was a relatively easy decision for me,” said Badmus, who was the captain of his own recreational team, “Frozone FC,” during his freshman year. “I played soccer from eighth grade through the end of ninth grade as a defender and midfielder, so I slotted in pretty well.”

He continued, saying the friendships were some of the most worthwhile aspects of the experience.

“The best part is the camaraderie, team spirit, and sportsmanship,” he said. “Everyone on our team was a family and we all got along well and ate together after games. We also would eat with our opponents after games as a sign of sportsmanship and respect.”

Personality and physique are some of the contributing factors to which sport one may choose to enter. Most will pick just one, while others like UNCW student Bobby Winicki enjoy taking on the extra challenge of multiple sports.

“(Two years ago), I participated in five-on-five co-rec sand volleyball. This past year I participated in co-rec indoor soccer, men’s gold indoor soccer, and men’s gold outdoor soccer,” Winicki said. “I started playing volleyball because my friends told me that it would be a blast, and it was. I started playing soccer because many of the international students and soccer players said I am a great goal keeper, so they urged me to play on their team. I accepted.”

Gianni Cinelli also played indoor and outdoor soccer last year. However, he says he’s considering “the Harry Potter sport” (Quidditch — UNCW has a club team) in addition to soccer.

Cinelli said the fun of playing sports coupled with the minimal commitment to his schedule makes being an involved student easier.

“It’s competitive, but not time consuming,” he said. “Many people can’t play for school teams because they don’t have time to go to practices and work out sessions. It’s a small time commitment with the same amount of bonding.”

For those looking to get involved, there will be a general interest meeting for all fall intramural sports on Aug. 25 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., held in SRC 219.

Here are some other important dates coming up for fall intramural sports clinics — all meetings will be held in the SRC 219 and will take place from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.: flag football (Aug. 29 – 31, Sept. 1), volleyball (Sept. 8), basketball (Sept. 6 – 8, 12), and indoor soccer (Oct. 10 – 11).