IM program looks to improve student athletes
While we may not all be Division II caliber athletes, that doesn’t mean we have to stop playing the sports we love. With the Grand Valley State University intramural sports program, the game doesn’t end after the last high school buzzer.
Over the past decade, GVSU has developed a successful intramural sports program. John Rosick, assistant director of Campus Recreation, has been around GVSU intramurals a long time and has watched the program grow significantly.
“We have it great; it’s a great place to be,” Rosick said. “The students are tremendously interested in our program, and I think they really buy into what we do. We have grown by 55 percent in my time here with the program and within that 55 percent, our campus participants have grown by 35 percent.”
In looking for ways to improve the experience of students and staff who participate in intramural sports, GVSU developed a new website called imleagues.com that allows for more convenient access to league schedules as well as creating and joining teams.
“We are trying to make it easier for the staff and the students,” Rosick said. “It’s a one stop shop for intramurals. It has the social aspect like Facebook and we are really excited about it. In the past we have had to do paper and pencil scheduling and mandatory captains meetings. This includes everything all together. You can create teams, join teams, or become a free agent. The site is linked up with our intramural sports website.”
The easier access to participating in intramural sports will contribute to another goal of the program: expansion.
Rosick said that although the number of participants currently involved with intramurals is very high, he would like to see that number climb even more.
“We always have a goal of growth,” he said. “We have a 95 percent satisfaction rate to begin with and we are always looking to make that number even higher. We are also looking for increased satisfaction with our officials, which is always our biggest challenge.”
Kyle Bowen has worked for campus recreation for five years, beginning as an official before working his way up to an event planner for intramurals.
“The intramural program is getting better and better every year,” Bowen said. “There are always new ideas and fundraisers, and I think it comes down to the people. The people are what make the program.”
To celebrate the people involved, GVSU intramurals is planning an event for students toward the end of the fall semester.
“We are trying to have some fun as the semester unfolds,” Bowen said. “Right now we are calling it a wild card event because we don’t really know how it will play out.”
For now, though, it works to provide students a healthy outlet and a means of forming positive campus memories away from homework and tests.
“Participating in my first year of intramural sports exposed me to an employment opportunity that I will never forget,” said Gavin Peoples, an intramural sports participant and official. “The positive atmosphere doing what I love has me convinced that it is truly the best job on campus. This officiating experience has taught me many life skills and the relationships that I have developed will be ones that will last a lifetime. ”