Intramural Sports rises to challenge during pandemic

Intramural Sports rises to challenge during pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic brought significant changes to student life dynamics on college campuses around the world.  Events morphed from in-person to online, social interactions were all distanced and the smiles of welcoming faces from student organizations were covered by masks.

Students play badminton.
Students play badminton.

Through the challenges, Georgia College’s Department of Wellness and Recreation remained a positive outlet for safe student interaction—a way for them to connect and compete. 
Many changes were made during the fall 2020 semester to keep students safe including mask requirements, social distancing rules and a full slate of new sports including badminton, soccer tennis, pickleball, ping pong and golf.  

“We wanted to make sure to give students an outlet to participate safely in activities.  Intramurals are a big part of the students' experience at Georgia College and although it has been different this year, we wanted them to have some normalcy,” said Drew Bruton, Associate Director of Wellness and Recreation.   

By the end of the fall semester, nearly 2,000 intramural games were played, with more than 800 student participants.  E-Sports leagues also saw significant participation on campus.  

The importance of recreational sports goes far beyond physical activity and exercise.  Participation in recreational sports can help students build social connections and relieve stress, positively impacting mental health.  Student workers learn important communication and leadership skills by working as supervisors, referees and scorekeepers.  

“Intramurals provided me with an opportunity to meet new people and do new things,” said Erin Braxton, a GC senior who has participated in intramural leagues since her freshman year.  “As an employee of GC Wellness and Recreation, intramurals provided me an opportunity to grow as a leader and a person.  I was able to develop some of the greatest friendships through this program and I will always be thankful for that.”

The Department of Wellness and Recreation has developed an exciting plan for the spring semester including cornhole, basketball pong, ping pong, soccer pong, badminton and pool relay.  E-Sports spring leagues include COD: Modern Warfare, Madden 20, NBA 2k20, FIFA 20 and Rocket League.  

They’ll continue work to provide students with recreational opportunities they want and enjoy.

“We strive to provide new offerings and use our creative staff to formulate those ideas,” said Bruton.  “Our staff has been great, the biggest thing we are proud of is their flexibility.  These students signed up to work other aspects of our department and have come together to help make our programs and offerings successful.”

Students looking to get in on the fun should visit gcsu.edu/recreational-sports to register.