Intramural program ramping up as weather warms

Physical health and mental health are interconnected, says associate director Margaret McClintock

Grace Mamon

The university’s intramural program has a lot to offer during the pandemic, said Margaret McClintock, associate director of intramurals and adventure programming.

“We’re talking about mental health more than ever and I think that physical health is intrinsically tied to mental health,” McClintock said. “Whether you’re a walker or a runner or a varsity athlete or someone who loves group ex or someone who goes to the gym regularly.”

She said she is planning to schedule more activities this semester, including a pickleball and dodgeball league. Last semester, there was a tennis league and a few single day events, but the program was hindered by pandemic protocols on campus.

“This term, we’re feeling more confident having had a term of COVID programming,” she said.

The pickleball league was scheduled to start Thursday, March 10. There were about 20 teams of two signed up, McClintock said.

But the first night of play was canceled because many of the teams were in quarantine, said Calder Clay, ’21, intramural league coordinator.

The COVID-19 environment level was raised to red the day before, delaying the start of the semester’s first intramural league. Play is still scheduled for the rest of the month, Clay said.

The program offers two types of activities: leagues and single-day events.

Leagues play on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights and students can either sign up as an individual or with a group, depending on the activity. There are six weeks of play and then a tournament.  

Single-day events are more spontaneous and varied, said McClintock.

“Like okay, it’s a beautiful afternoon, why the heck wouldn’t we have a little mini Spikeball tournament going on on Cannan Green,” she said.

McClintock, a 2015 alum, returned to the university in 2019 to rebuild the program. She said during her first year, there was a lot of intramural activity.

“We had a dodgeball league we had a basketball league, we had the IM fraternity cup, we had started a soccer league, we were having regular single-day events,” she said.

But when the pandemic hit, it was more challenging to host activities and there was a lot of concern about sharing equipment.

Now, with the weather warming, McClintock is looking forward to ramping up activities again. She said she’s planning to start a volleyball or crossnet league in the coming weeks.

“[We’re] trying to do as much outside as possible because who doesn’t want to be outside,” she said. “But then also, it’s just better from a COVID standpoint. I can have more people and we can spread out more easily.”

The program also includes group exercise and equipment check outs.

 Students can sign up to attend spin classes, boxing or yoga, among many others. They can also pick up cornhole boards, soccer balls, KanJam, frisbees, spikeball sets and lots of other equipment to use on their own.

McClintock said the intramural program is important because it reminds students that exercise doesn’t have to be unenjoyable.

“You don’t have to drag yourself through a run to be active for the day,” she said. “So it’s a lot of fun, it’s a great way to kind of blow off some steam with something a little bit different.”

Students can find out more information about intramurals on the university website, or check their inbox for regular updates on activities.