Intramural sports are back at PLNU. Intramurals provide an opportunity to stay active, meet new people or rekindle old friendships, whether students hope to relive their high school glory days on the field or they want to try something new.
On the PLNU campus, 400-600 students typically participate in at least one intramural sport during most semesters, according to Alisa Ward, director of intramurals. Although intramural sports could not take place as usual in the fall, the PLNU Intramural Department now offers six different sports: volleyball, basketball, soccer, frisbee, softball and tennis. Several other activity classes are available including yoga, circuit training and strength and conditioning.
“Intramurals is a very well-used, well-loved and enjoyed department on our campus,” Ward said. “Students, staff and faculty find it a refreshing break to be able to head out to a court or onto a field and meet up with other students for an hour each week.”
Ward said there are 42 teams across all leagues and almost 300 students signed up for intramurals this spring despite the increased safety measures. All sports will take place outdoors and students will have to wear a mask while they play and exercise.
Sophie Mirth is an intramural staff member who runs the weight shed and teaches a strength and conditioning class there on Monday and Wednesday. She said she is excited for people to get physically active while staying safe.
“We are also working very hard to keep everything COVID-safe, including the requirement of masks, hand sanitizer and as much social distance as possible,” Mirth said.
“Being outside is one of the best things for our students right now as we have the fresh ocean air breeze with a constant air flow moving and dispersing any potential droplets,” Ward said. “All of the intramural staff have been trained regarding our safety and sanitizing procedures, and students are complying with the mask policy.”
The weather in San Diego lends itself nicely to outdoor activities, and many of the sports normally take place outdoors. For sports like volleyball and basketball, the intramural staff found spaces on campus where students can participate in the sports safely.
Luke Pope is the league director for the intramural volleyball and basketball leagues as well as the person responsible for running the weight shed on Fridays. He said intramurals are an essential part of the PLNU experience and they build community that was lacking during virtual learning in the fall.
“With many of us staring at screens and books, [intramurals] allows us to break up the normalcy [of classes] with an activity that clears the mind,” Pope said. “We are plagued with due dates, assignments and extracurriculars, so by allowing intramural sports to continue with COVID protocols is a splendid way to create a competitive yet communal opportunity for all students.”
Max Geyling is a senior who has played intramurals all four years at PLNU, and he seconded Pope’s sentiments about the value of intramurals on campus. He plays on an ultimate frisbee team this semester.
“I’m excited for intramurals to be back because they allow me a way to get outside and stay active with my friends,” Geyling said. “This is made even sweeter after a long spell of being stuck inside.”
As the intramurals staff works to adhere with campus COVID-19 protocols, they offer opportunities for students to remain physically and mentally healthy with outdoor recreation opportunities.
“Allowing our students the opportunity to gather together in a safe manner this spring is going to liven up their spirits, energize them and hopefully give them outlets where they can find community [while] play[ing] together,” Ward said.
“I know a lot of my friends consider intramurals to be a big part of the college experience, so having them back for spring is really exciting,” Mirth said.Students can find more information about PLNU intramurals online at www.IMLeagues.com/plnu.
By: Andrew Hansen