Connor Cosand: The All Season Appeal of Intramural Sports at Santa Clara
Intramural sports in college often serve as a bridge for former high school and club athletes transitioning to University life. For many of these students, their athletic experiences prior to college have played pivotal roles in their personal development and have been sources of joy, camaraderie, and discipline. However, upon entering college, they may find themselves unable to continue competing at a high level due to various reasons, such as time commitments or skill disparities. Here, intramural sports can help to fill this void. Providing an outlet for physical exercise, competition, and social interaction, intramural sports can help ex-athletes maintain a connection to their athletic roots, fostering a continued sense of team spirit and promoting well-rounded, balanced college experiences.
Embracing the crisp air of fall quarter, I vividly remember students from across campus coming to the athletic fields to participate in the intramural flag football league offered every year. Students from all walks of life and academic backgrounds come together forming teams that reflect the diversity of Santa Clara’s community. These teams are a place where friendships are fostered and created, transcending beyond the prior academic and social experiences these students have had.
One of the most exhilarating moments from this league comes from the fierce but friendly competition on the field. Imagine the championship game of the season: two teams, formed from a hodgepodge group of former football stars, first time players, and everyone in between, locked in a tight contest under the stadium lights with friends and fans cheering them on. The game reaches its climax as a last minute touchdown is scored, not by the star ex-football player, but by a rookie who joined expecting only to meet new people. The excitement from the stadium can be felt between team members and throughout the fans, as a shared sense of achievement and community vibrates throughout the field. It’s these shared moments of camaraderie and triumph that make intramural sports such an integral part of the college experience, not only rekindling competitive spirits in former athletes, but also awakening it in those who never knew they had it.
As the autumn leaves fade away to colder temperature and rainfall, the spirit of intramural sports continues to thrive in the form of different sports. During winter quarter, most of the action moves indoors with basketball, cornhole and pickleball, providing an excellent way to get away from the colder weather. For those willing to brave the cold, intramural soccer is also offered. Bringing a renewed sense of energy for the spring quarter, sports such as softball, tennis, volleyball, and even ultimate frisbee are offered for those ready to spend some time in the sun. Each season offers a diverse set of sports that are open for anybody and everybody to participate, bringing a new set of opportunities to bond, compete and have fun.
To conclude, I would like to share that no one should ever feel that the only way to engage in sports during your college experience is by making the cut for an official Santa Clara team. Having been a part of various intramural sports leagues through my college journey, I can attest to the fact that Santa Clara offers an incredibly diverse and inclusive way to get involved in athletics, regardless of experience level. From the exhilaration of a closely fought flag football game under the stadium lights to a joyful softball victory under the spring sun, there is truly something for everyone. These sport teams provide a fantastic way to stay active and competitive while also fostering an inclusive community between friends. Being a part of an intramural team has opened my eyes to the potential for personal growth and friendship that only sports can offer. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner looking to try out a new sport, intramural sports are a wonderful gateway to keeping your athletic spirit thriving throughout your college experience.