With a 24-year legacy, SportsFest has become the University of Miami’s very own version of the Olympics.
SportsFest takes place one weekend in February every year and matches students in the five residence halls, apartments, University Village and commuters against one another.
Contests range from the typical – dodgeball, basketball and soccer – to the atypical – couch potato trivia, Rock Band and rock, paper, scissors.
It is a chance for individuals from all areas of campus to get to know one another.
“SportsFest kind of gets everyone involved and brings the student body together,” sophomore Trey Ferguson said. “SportsFest is one of the best events the University of Miami has. Everyone has a good time.”
Things began when Hecht, then the Honors Residential College, challenged Stanford, then the Residential College, to an athletic competition. Ever since, the rest of campus joined the fray for bragging rights.
Opening ceremonies start the games with a torch run that begins at Mahoney and Pearson Residential Colleges and travels around Lake Osceola as each college’s representative runs a leg. The previous year’s champion carries the torch on the final leg to the Rathskeller.
Closing ceremonies begin immediately after the tug-of-war event which takes place on Sunday. At this, the winning men’s and women’s teams are awarded the Master’s Trophy, which is displayed at the Wellness Center.
Some students have grown tired of Hecht’s dominance over the past eight years.
“It has been hard losing to Hecht. They keep winning,” junior Miles Dotson said. “Every year I have been here they have won. But one year Stanford or another team on campus will end their streak.”
The event is often perceived to be geared toward freshmen since the majority of the teams form within the Stanford and Hecht towers, which primarily house first-year students. It’s rare for a floor to not sign up as a team.
“There are so many events to do and I really enjoy it,” sophomore Jessica LeSage said. “Everyone gets involved and it’s competitive.”