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Intramurals return to Abbotsford campus

Intramural sports are back, largely through the efforts of one UFV student.

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By Michael Scoular (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: October 2, 2013

Photo by Blake McGuire

Intramural sports are back, largely through the efforts of one UFV student.

Brett MacNab, who supervised intramural sessions during the winter 2012 semester in a work-study capacity through Student Life, is now aiding Athletics, which took over responsibilities for intramurals with the academic year changeover.

“[He’s] certainly lending his expertise to help us kind of get things going,” Athletics director Rocky Olfert says. He also notes that intramurals are “new for [Athletics] so we just want to make sure things are in place before we start.”

While intramurals traditionally haven’t started at the beginning of the semester, MacNab says he became a larger part of organizing gym times with Athletics after hearing feedback from students.

“It’s kind of a community we have there and people really enjoy the sports, the programs, and we have a lot of fun, so when it’s not running they ask me about it, and I got a lot of people asking.”

Events like intramurals try to establish networks on campus while working within the larger identity of UFV as a commuter school. The Envision Athletics Centre where the sports are held is across the parking lot from student residence at Baker House, where MacNab says many regulars are from.

With intramurals, Olfert says the hope is to “attract a wide variety of students, keep them on campus, give them opportunities to meet other students and interact.

“What’s key for us is that people feel like they can be part of it; like we don’t want to just attract elite athletes but people that want to participate, maybe try a new sport for the first time.”

Indoor soccer, basketball, volleyball, badminton, and pickleball will be offered throughout the week, with the schedule able to change from semester to semester and sports added or switched out depending on how many students turn out.

“Depends on the program and time of year … but soccer was the most popular always. We averaged 30-35 people in the winter semester,” says MacNab. Olfert also says ball hockey is a planned addition this semester.

Student involvement is key to the drop-ins continuing to run: not only does it require players, but each block of gym time needs a volunteer to supervise the games. MacNab says with the new co-curricular record, which puts volunteer work on a student’s transcript, there is also a tangible benefit to helping out.

“We’re going to tap into that if we can. I’ve talked to a few people about it, and I’m optimistic.”

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