Jimmy Ohrberg plans million dollar shows at Sea World, but for the past 22 years he has managed the scores for SportsFest – an activity he has been doing since he was a student at the University of Miami.
With the efforts of volunteers like Ohrberg and a SportsFest committee that starts meeting on a weekly basis in October, the three-day event is successfully produced year after year.
“SportsFest is one of the best events the University of Miami has,” Edoardo Castelli, a sophomore, said. “I like it because it brings the student body together.”
Pat Flynn, a freshman, is the student representative from Pearson on the SportsFest Committee. He said trying to get more girls involved in SportsFest and arranging events to fit time constraints were major issues at the meetings. However, he said the hardest task was reviewing the rule book.
“We had to go through the rule book to make sure there were not any redundancy or contradictions and that book is pretty big” he said.
The SportsFest handbook states selection of awards, coordinating assignments of volunteers and supervising events as additional responsibilities of the committee.
Tom Soria, the assistant director of intramurals and special events, oversaw the committee and only interfered when an idea would have potential safety or liability problems. He also made sure policies and procedures of the university were being followed.
“I try to give the committee as much insight as I can. Some things look feasible on paper but are not,” Soria said.
The budget for SportsFest was $14,000 and was mainly spent on publicity, prizes, and paying officials. Residential colleges supplied this money from funds allotted to them for events. The percentage each college paid was determined by the number of its residents participating in SportsFest.
Other contributors to SportsFest include Rhonda DuBord, the associate director for the department of wellness and recreation. She is responsible for SportsFest’s connection with Red Bull, the only outside organization involved.
DuBord’s fellow professional staff at the Wellness Center also helps with monitoring events, along with volunteers from each student team
This combined effort has accomplished something special which Flynn realizes.
“Miami is one of the few colleges in the country that does something like this,” he said. “Most colleges just have this for Greek life. It’s like Harry Potter with the houses competing.”
Edward Fishman may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2nd University Village
1st Super Soakers (Hecht)
2nd UV Legends (U. Village)
3rd MT3 Mousekateers (Hecht)
1st Cosmopolitans (Stanford)
2nd Pearson Pin-Ups (Pearson)
3rd Team No Name (Apt. Area)