Make a move with new options

Looking for an opportunity to show off your skills, but not quite on an NCAA level?

The Wellness Center may have the answer. It offers several ways for students to get involved in sports, for those who are trying to learn one for the first time and for experienced veterans looking for a new challenge. The Wellness Center offers intramural competitions as well as several different club sports.

Intramural events are designed for students who are looking for a short-term, competitive season where they can gather up a group of friends and take on the best UM has to offer. The start times differ for each league, but they all last about a month.

“It’s a good stress reliever outside of the classroom, good form of exercise,” said Tom Soria, the assistant director of intramurals and special events at the Wellness Center. “It’s also a good time to go out and create new friends.”

League events include traditional spring sports such as basketball, flag football and softball, as well as wallyball, a hybrid sport that incorporates rules from volleyball and racquetball. There are also special events that students may compete in, several of which only last a day.

Events include competitions such as softball and table tennis, as well as a bench press competition and the NFL Combine Challenge, where students try out the tests that National Football League draft prospects undergo. After competing in the shuttle run, a three-cone drill and several skills tests, students can compare their stats to the actual NFL combine results later on.

“The idea actually came to us from [Student Government President] Brandon Mitchell. It turned out to be a great idea,” Soria said. “Last year was our first year of scheduling it. It was a pretty cool event and we’re hoping to get an even bigger turnout this year.”

Unlike last semester, where team leaders were required to pass a quiz on Blackboard before their team was eligible to play, they now must attend a captains meeting at the Wellness Center prior to the start of the event. A team representative must attend the meeting if the team wants to be scheduled.

For students looking for a more recreational way to enjoy their favorite sport or seeking to challenge other schools, there are also a variety of club sports offered on campus. There are more than 31 different clubs, which include traditional favorites such as sailing, volleyball and rugby, as well as more unique groups like rock climbing and muggle quidditch. A few other sports may be added, including ballroom dancing, tai chi, boxing and weight lifting.

“Many students join a club sport to meet new people or try a new activity. It’s a good way to get involved and try new things like going scuba diving,” said Rhonda DuBord, the associate director of recreation programs at the Wellness Center.

Many clubs also go out and compete in tournaments against other schools around the country. Last year, the roller hockey team won a national championship and will be honored by the Florida Panthers during a home game later on in the year.

To sign up for intramurals or for more information, visit the membership office located on the second floor of the Wellness Center.