Recreational Sports contest encourages participation, competition



Sophomores Marissa Gallardo and Alicia Pickens work out in the Wildermuth Intermural Center almost every day. This month, they’ve been even more motivated to avoid skipping a day, Gallardo said.

IU Recreational Sports is halfway through their Residence Hall Winter Games challenge. The contest, which runs through February, puts students against other residence halls in their neighborhood for participation points at the Wildermuth Intermural Center and the Student Recreational Sports Center.

“These facilities are things students who live in the residence halls have already paid for,” Outreach Coordinator for Recreational Sports Grace Ryan said. “So we’re always trying to figure out how to engage students so they actually use them.”

The contest was designed to be as simple as possible, Ryan said. Students earn points for their residence hall every time their ID is scanned at the WIC or the SRSC. The points are weighted by population — students in McNutt Quadrangle, the largest residence hall on campus, earn one point with each swipe, while students in Forest Quadrangle earn more.

Some scheduled Recreational Sports events, such as log rolling sessions and Wildcard Wednesday mystery group exercise classes, are opportunities for students to earn twice as many points as normal activities. Each neighborhood participates in its own “cup” in the competition, Ryan said.

“IU has 13 residence halls, which is a lot to coordinate,” Ryan said. “And students might not feel as competitive with students from a neighborhood on the other side of campus.”

The SRSC hopes to award a trophy to the winning residence hall of each neighborhood, Ryan said. Prizes for individual students who participate the most in the contest will also be awarded. The top 50 participating students from each residence hall will win a free T-shirt.

Read Hall, Teter Quadrangle and McNutt Quadrangle are currently leading each of their neighborhoods in the competition. There are two weeks left in the competition.

“Going to the gym more was my New Year’s resolution and this helps me actually want to come this month,” Gallardo said. “Alicia and I both live in Read and now that we’ve been coming this often we definitely want to win.”

The Winter Games challenge was developed with the help of SRSC Leaders, students who represent Recreational Sports in their residence halls, Ryan said.

“I think some people find using the WIC and SRSC to work out in a group setting kind of intimidating, but it shouldn’t be,” freshman Recreational Sports Leader Amanda Petro said. “Using IU’s recreational facilities is a great way to meet new people and find new things you really enjoy doing.”

The participation competition is meant to help students overcome that reluctance and use IU’s facilities to their potential, Petro said.

This is the first year Recreational Sports has organized a contest for such a large percentage of the student population, Ryan said. Organizing similar competitions within the fraternity and sorority community helped with the planning of the larger contest.

If the competition is successful in increasing participation at the WIC and SRSC, Recreational Sports plans to make it an annual tradition.

“We want the contest to gain momentum and become something students feel really motivated to compete in,” Ryan said. “Our biggest fear at Recreational Sports is that at the end of their time at IU, students will say they didn’t know they had access to these resources.”

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