Intramural Week confusion

By Etheria Modacure

The Columbia Renegades club sports program has worked all semester to create awareness, increase participation and get new leaders to help build its teams. With the difficulty of finding adequate space to host any games, it’s been a struggle for the program to find consistent success.

From Dec. 6 through 9, the Renegades hosted an intramural tournament at the South Loop Elementary School 1212 S. Ply mouth Court. The tournament consisted of basketball, soccer, volleyball and dodgeball.

Unfortunately for the Renegades, this tournament didn’t turn out to be helpful in gaining more participants. The first event, basketball, on Dec. 6, was successful because students from Columbia and Roosevelt University took part in a half-court game of roundball.

Volleyball and soccer were canceled on Dec. 6 because there was a scheduled science fair at South Loop Elementary. This may have had an affect on dodgeball being canceled on Dec. 9 because of a disproportionate number of participants

“We work with what we get,” said Kevin Hartmann, vice president of the Renegades. “We really don’t have adequate space to play any of these sports. Its kind of our constant struggle, finding places to play.”

The basketball games were 3-on-3 and played on each half of the court. Hartmann said the Renegades always wanted to do tournaments such as this to get more participation from Columbia students.

“We’re just trying to do different events to get our name out there, and let [students] know we exist,” Hartmann said.

While the tournament could have been fun for students, the agony of losing a basketball game wasn’t good for Zachary Meyer, a sophomore film and video major at Columbia. Meyer’s  team lost a few games in the basketball tournament, but he was pleased with the Renegades’ efforts to have an athletic event for students.

He acknowledged that Columbia needs to put together more intramural events so more can participate.

“We have nothing else really to do for athletes who [don’t play regularly]; we don’t have intramurals,” Meyer said. “It was fun to come out, shoot around and play

some games.”

A lot of students were notified of intramural week through campus signage and the student loop portal. They weren’t notified of the cancellations until they arrived at the gym.

After the abrupt announcement of the cancellation of volleyball and soccer, Micheal L. Vander Heyden, coordinator of Recreation and Wellness at Roosevelt was able to work with the school to get both tournaments reinstated.

This didn’t have an immediate impact on soccer because according to Vander Heyden,there was a strong turnout on Dec. 7. Volleyball, however, turned into a practice more than a competition.

On Dec. 9, dodgeball didn’t attract as many participants as in the past, and Vander Heyden said the cancellation and reinstatement of volleyball and soccer could have influenced students not to show up.

Vander Heyden said this shouldn’t have a negative effect on future events unless students don’t live close to campus and feel there’s a strong possibility it can be canceled.

“If you were really set on coming and then it turned out ‘Oh last minute’ and you come in and you commuted into the city and now you find out your events canceled,” Vander Heyden said. “Possibly [it could have an effect]. You could be like ‘Why am I going to come back if events keep getting canceled?,’”

Patrick McKenzie, a student at Roosevelt, said though he was eager to play dodgeball on Dec. 9, he enjoyed the intramural week. McKenzie said it was confusing at first because he didn’t know what was going on with volleyball and dodgeball but he still came to the gym despite the perplexing two days.

Just having an athletic weeklong event was more gratifying to McKenzie than not being active before the holidays. He said he wasn’t upset about the on again off again happenings with the week.

“As long as we’re having fun and I’m meeting new people, that’s what college is about,” McKenzie said. “I won’t get too mad about it.”