Intramural sports at SJU all fun and games

Two teams gathered at DaSilva field for a Flag Football game on Tuesday, Nov. 5. It was a cold evening and they were preparing for a playoff game: that alone was enough reason to warm them up. The referees were ready as well as the players – there was a sense of competitiveness in the air.

According to senior Kevin Bonner, the winner of the Flag Football league will compete in Maryland on a regional level representing St. John’s with everything paid for by the school. That opportunity serves as a big motivation for the players to give their best on the field. The non-sponsored uniforms, the absence of Johnny Thunderbird, the lack of people wearing red t-shirts surrounding the field and the fact you don’t need tickets to watch this game tells you something— this isn’t a typical “Red Storm” game.

Athletics is a big part of St. John’s University. The school’s 17 Division 1 teams are known for their great athletes and successful seasons, but the opportunity to play sports at St. John’s is not exclusively just for those who make it onto the D1 teams. St. John’s Campus Recreation offers the Intramural Sports Program. Sports include: soccer, volleyball, flag football, softball, dodge ball, co-ed basketball and an all men basketball league that is held during the spring semester. This is a great chance for those who want to get involved while doing something they enjoy and the program provides men’s, women’s and co-ed activities.

“It gives people an opportunity to play and compete in a sport they like without being part of a D1 team”, Mark Stevenson, coordinator of the Intramural Sports Program, said. “Not only that, but it is also a great way to meet people and to exercise.”

Stevenson uses himself as an example of how being involved in a team can be beneficial as he remembers the time when he used to play in an intramural team.

“A lot of the friends I have now I met through playing intramurals,” he said.

The sports offered in the fall semester eventually become leagues during the spring. Team captains are required to attend an all captain meetings that are held usually a week or two before the tournament. This program is open to whoever is part of the university, meaning any full-time St. John’s student, faculty or staff – it gives a chance for interaction not only between students but everyone who is part of the St. John’s community.

Campus Recreation provides the teams with equipment and student officials when necessary.

“As a former athlete it’s a good way for me to stay in shape, have a level of competition and camaraderie,” junior Marlon Coustard said.” Some of the people that I’m close with now I’ve met through intramural sports so being involved in it has been a major part of my SJU experience.”

Coustard said the team camaraderie is one of his favorite aspects of the intermural program.

“I’ve gotten to see other sides of people through being on teams with them and developed bonds with them outside of the competitive environment of Taffner or the DaSilva field,” he said. “Because of that I’ve utilized the friendships I’ve made with people around campus but especially in the classroom.”

If you’re interested in knowing more about the Intramurals Sports Program as well as the other areas you could get involved from Campus Recreation, just stop by their office located in the first floor of Taffner Field House or call (718) 990-5810.