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Michigan State’s Intramural Sports Program Gives Students A Chance to Get Away From Stress

IM Sports
Noah Lieberman

Some students see playing recreational sports as a chance to win; others use the exercise to stay healthy at school.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Intramural sports means different things for Michigan State students. For some, who are drowning in homework, would rather practice with their team to try to win an IM championship. Others use sports as a study break, a chance to calm themselves from the grind of school.

Intramural sports are a great way for students to still be involved with the game they enjoy.

Trevon Walraven, a freshman at Michigan State who plays intramural basketball, played basketball before college, this is his first time playing intramural sports.

“It helps me focus on what's going on in that moment, during the game, rather than what I worry about outside of the game,” Walraven said.

Being able to play the sport that students grew up playing in a competitive manner is a big incentive to play intramural sports.

“Competition is important in intramural sports because it helps keep my mind off of certain situations while playing,” said Walraven.

A 2008 study by Albany University shows that students who participated in intramural sports were more engaged in social interactions and benefited more in working in groups.

Many different studies show that on-campus students take advantage of the benefits that intramural sports provide more than off-campus students.

Mason McDowell, a junior at Michigan State who plays soccer and basketball, participates in intramural sports to be more social while at school.

“Intramural sports allow a way for me to meet up with friends I don’t normally get to see and play the games we know and love,” McDowell said.

McDowell has been competing in intramural sports since he transferred to Michigan State last year.

IM Sports
Credit Noah Lieberman

“The main reason I play intramural sports is to compete against other people who are the same skill level as me in whatever sport I’m playing,” McDowell said.

Intramural sports are good for students because they are exercising while doing something they like to do and choose to do.

“I see intramural sports as a competitive experience to showcase the skills I’ve developed up to this point,” McDowell said.

Students can benefit many ways from intramural sports. Students benefit socially from intramural sports and also get a sense for time management while making time to exercise.

Most students want to make time to go to the gym, but few do because of the number of hours they put in studying. Having a set schedule helps students to study around those hours, according to the study done at Albany University.

Sean Gallagher, a junior at Michigan State, said all of his exercises are done through intramural sports.

“It is hard to get to and from the gym, so it is easier to just exercise through intramural sports rather than bussing to Powerhouse or Planet Fitness,” Gallagher said.

IM Sports
Credit Noah Lieberman

Compared to club sports, intramural sports are more relaxed and make it less stressful for student participation. Many club sports, like volleyball, hockey, and tennis, travel across the country to play in events. Intramural sports, for the most part, are strictly on campus.

“I believe that intramural sports add a lot of benefits to a college campus and are a great thing for students to take advantage of,” Gallagher said.

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