When it comes to sports, I have all of my father’s athletic ability (my father has absolutely no athletic ability). In grade school, I spent so much time on the bench that my teammates thought I was someone’s sibling.
In middle school, I got hit in the head so many times with a volleyball that they just kept an icepack around for me. The ridiculously high number of hours I spent practicing tennis in my free time didn’t stop me from being the worst player on the team. In short, I am no good at sports.
I’m not the only person this way, either. In a culture that emphasizes the importance of competition and sports in people from when they’re toddlers until they find themselves in their senior years yelling at the Red Wings on TV, the un-athletic are disadvantaged. Seriously, even Harry Potter was athletic.
This creates a small problem. It’s pretty easy to encourage athletic people to exercise regularly. After all, if you know that by running “suicides” and practicing basketball you’ll be more successful in actual games, you’re more likely to practice. And if you know that you win a scholarship for participating in and winning games, it’s easy to make a trip to the gym.
But what about those who have been cut from sports teams since childhood and the very idea that someone would offer them a scholarship for sports is laughable? This group is left with one of three options: accept their fate and hope that their metabolism is high, suck it up and go to the gym or join a club/intramural sport.
Now the positive side is that Eastern Michigan University has a wide array of club and intramural sports, most of which are welcoming to students of all levels of athletic ability. I have yet to hear of a paintball, Quidditch or ultimate frisbee team rejecting someone simply because he or she couldn’t pass a sobriety test.
“I know that we’re definitely always looking for new people to join as well,” club lacrosse player Iris Dominguez said in an interview with Eastern Echo sports writer, Raven Gardiner. “We have a bunch of people who just joined this year and never had any experience with lacrosse before. [The team] was super patient and are constantly learning themselves, so there wasn’t any pressure to try and become the best to fit in.”
Understandably, the participants may not have time to join an intramural sport. Luckily these students can enter tournaments and competitions rather than committing to a whole season.
Additionally, for those who want to make more of a commitment to a team, even some collegiate sports allow walk-ons, such as the women’s rowing team.
The drawback for participating in a sport where skill level isn’t a requirement is that no one is paying you to play the sport. Even still, the cost is usually minimal in intramural league sports, such as softball and soccer which cost $40 per team. Some events and tournaments are even free, including events like the free throws competitions.
While not everyone is good at sports, or in my case terrible at every sport, doesn’t mean he or she can’t play a sport if they so desire. Club and intramural sports offer a wide array of sports in a less judgmental and competitive setting, for a fairly reasonable cost.
While you may never end up in the hockey hall of fame for playing roller hockey, it is a way to get some exercise, build teamwork skills and just have some fun.
The semester may be winding to an end soon, but in the fall, Fajita Fest will have some of these clubs eagerly recruiting for new members.