By Michael Kehoe
The intramural sports program at Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) is more than ready to offer a variety of different pick-up games to be enjoyed. All that Campus Life needs is some vocal students who want to play ball.
“We have the sports equipment here on campus already,” said Director of Student Engagement Tracy Morin. “We just need the demand from the students who want to play. We are more than happy to organize activities if enough students come to us and ask us to set up a game or even a league.”
Currently, the only organized intramural sports program in practice is co-ed basketball. Technically, the basketball gym is open to anyone during the normal fitness center hours, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM, and pre-registration is not required. However, the 5-vs-5 pick-up games are advertised on the 4Cs website for Tuesday and Thursday from 2 PM until 4 PM.
“I think the college would definitely benefit from having some organized sports available,” said Ryan Yourell, a 4Cs student who frequently plays pick-up basketball at the Life Fitness Center. “I know a lot of people that go here who would love to get together to play football if the school allowed us to.”
Yourell’s wish is a possible one, as last year the school did organize a flag football league for the students. Other possible sports to be offered include, but are not limited to: tennis, indoor soccer and racquetball. The problem is that most students do not know that these programs can easily be organized for them. It is rare for a community college to have its own fitness center and rarer still for a community college to have a department devoted to student activities such as Campus Life.
“Unfortunately, I have found that so many of our students don’t even know that we are here for them,” Morin said. “I am more than willing to organize these activities, pick-up games, or even leagues for the students, but I think that for the most part they don’t even realize that the option is there. I want students to know that they can feel free to contact me directly or come to the fitness center and ask us to help organize these sports for them.”
While student initiative and participation is necessary to get the proverbial and literal ball rolling, Campus Life does not require students to volunteer to run things. Students have helped out in previous semesters, but it is not a pre-requisite to having these sports available. Morin and her staff are ready to organize things, but what they need first is a sizable amount of students to simply show interest. Intramural sports programs are completely reliant on students following through and showing up because without players to fill out a roster, there can be no competition.
“A lot of us just end up coming to the gym when we have free time to shoot around,” said Ben DeCoste, another frequent basketball player at 4Cs, along with Yourell. “If there was a way the school could help us set things up that would make it a lot easier. I just have no idea how to go about doing that or who to talk to.”
An example of Campus Life responding to students’ wishes is the early-morning yoga class. These classes were not available originally, but many students reached out and asked for it.
Nancy McIver, a faculty member at the Life Fitness Center, teaches a free yoga class every Tuesday morning from 7:45 AM until 8:30 AM. Other fitness programs, such as athletic stretching and yoga/pilates fusion, are going to be offered starting on November 5 and will be available all the way up until December 13.
With the exercise program growing at 4Cs, Campus Life would love nothing more than to have the intramural sports program expand as well. If the students show interest and reach out to Morin and her staff, plenty of other pick-up games or even organized leagues will become available on campus. There are no plans to offer any collegiate level sports programs at any time, so for students who wish to participate in athletics, this is the best option available.
“It’s less about the students actually organizing it,” Morin said. “That’s the piece that we can do here at Campus Life. We have the facilities, we have the equipment, we can organize it, and we can even help with publicity. We just need students to come to us and tell us that they have a group of people who want to play, and then we can put it together for them.”