Intramural soccer is back this fall! If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it is a friendly organized soccer competition within a specific community. The members of this community come together to form teams and play against each other in a recreational setting. The Mt. A intramural soccer competition is an exciting experience as students meticulously recruit themselves into diverse teams, either representing a residence or representing their own separate team, while naming their team after something quirky that sets the environment for the competition.
The ambiance at these matches, and the competition, is quite lively. Students get to experience a sense of community as they kick the ball around with their peers. The objectives of this recreational, friendly competition have always seemed to promote physical activity whilst facilitating social interaction that allows students to create lasting, joyful memories while making new friends. I would definitely suggest Mt. A students participate!
The benefits of engaging in this recreational sport do not only end with its mental and social perks. Its physical rewards are also abundant. Although participating in a soccer game at the Alumni Field, Park Street Field or the Lansdowne Field may seem initially daunting to non-athletes, you can pick your position on the field according to your own abilities so that the physical requirement does not take a toll on you. Involvement in a recreational soccer game, even for thirty minutes to an hour, can have significant benefits on cardiovascular endurance. Soccer is an aerobic sport and it is known to improve cardiovascular endurance by increasing the heart rate and improving the body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently. Similarly, a sixty-minute soccer game involves engaging several of our muscle groups, and the repetitive acts of kicking, running, and other movements activate muscles in the legs, core, and upper body, promoting muscle development. Consequently, the need for deep breathing during intense play has been known to strengthen respiratory muscles and to increase lung capacity which promotes improved respiratory health through the aerobic demands of soccer.
The sense of a tight-knit campus community is felt during these intramural soccer games.Each game’s atmosphere is charged with excitement, laughter, and the promise of a friendly competition. The camaraderie within each team is not only felt when their team scores a goal, but when they concede as well, because teammates remind each other what is important during the match, relishing this warm moment with their teammates and opponents while it lasts. Intramural soccer is not always about winning; it is about the sheer thrill of being out on the field and the adrenaline of chasing the ball, sharing laughter with your opponents and teammates, and making stories to share after the match that will be cherished for a lifetime. This sense of community and neighborly camaraderie between the teams, along with the spectators cheering on the sidelines is what intramural soccer represents.
Students engaging in intramural soccer this fall have been enjoying the physicality of the games, along with the shared consensus to enjoy the environment provided by the competition. There is no sense of animosity or aggression; it is competition that is designed for social well-being. For students thinking about taking part in this fall’s intramural soccer competition, some current fellow intramural soccer players give the following advice. Aaron Litvak, a third-year geography student who plays for Thighs of Thunder suggests, “everyone who even is moderately interested should try it out. It doesn’t require lots of skill and is just a good way to play a sport and meet people.” Similarly, Matthew Paris, a second-year aviation student who plays for the Outsiders recommends you “don’t take the sport too seriously, and just try to have fun out there. Also, if you do not know anyone with an intramural team, you can always join as a free agent on www.imleagues.com.”
Apart from providing physical and mental benefits through the medium of soccer, the sense of community found in intramural soccer makes it a university experience one should hope to get involved in. The relaxed requirements and the absence of unhealthy competition make the soccer intramurals something to take part in to escape your academic pressures. Whether for physical, mental, or social benefits, intramurals give you the opportunity to also engage with your fellow peers. You will create memories and experiences that you will cherish years after graduating from Mt. A.
To register for a team for this fall’s intramural soccer, go to www.imleagues.com and log in using your Mt. A credentials. From there, you can pick the sport as soccer and pick a team to register with!