by SHANNON GLEBA, Staff Writer
Each year, hundreds of Manhattan College students participate in a number of different intramural sport leagues and tournaments organized by Student Engagement, and this academic year is no different.
While a rumor spread across the student body about Quidditch, a sport from the Harry Potter series, making an appearance on campus, that is not the case for this semester.
John Bennett, Executive Director of Student Engagement, said the idea for a Quidditch league has not yet come to the attention of Student Engagement for this semester, however he is open to the idea as the office organized a Quidditch tournament a number of years ago.
“Quidditch a few years ago students wanted to do it, from Harry Potter. So, we said listen ‘if you have other students that want to do it, show us there is an interest and we have no problem putting something together for you,’” Bennett said.
He continued, “So, they came back, essentially, with a petition of names that were interested in doing it, so we worked with athletics to reserve Gaelic Park and we looked up the rules and equipment needed and we had a Quidditch one day tournament on campus.”
While Quidditch may not be making an appearance in Gaelic Park this semester, the most popular sports of the intramural program will be returning.
“In terms of the sports and leagues, for the most part they’ll be the same that we had in the past. Starting with flag football, signups are going on as we speak. We plan to have a few electronic gaming tournaments throughout the year like we have had in the past,” said Bennett.
Deanna Hewlett, Recreation Coordinator, echoed those same sentiments, saying most of the changes to the intramural sports program came during her first year in the role of organizing the program.
“Most of the changes really happened last year, I came in and revamped the program basically, I redid the structure of the program, I redid the structure of the staff by adding supervisors which are mainly upperclassmen staff who are over the officials and kind of added more structure to the program, the sports pretty much stayed the same,” said Hewlett.
While the academic has just begun, intramural sports sign-ups are already underway for flag football, and sign-ups for soccer and volleyball will be following later in the semester. The sign-up process takes less than 5 minutes and are to be completed on IMLeagues.com.
“In the fall, flag football will be first, volleyball and flag football will overlap each other, and then flag football will be over. Volleyball will be going on, and then soccer will start, and so soccer and volleyball will overlap each other. Volleyball will end, and just as volleyball ends, soccer should be going into playoffs. Then, soccer will end right before Thanksgiving Break,” said Hewlett.
Following a great first year at MC last year, Hewlett is looking to even further expand the intramural sports program.
Hewlett said, “My goal for this year honestly is to expand all of our sports. For flag football, we only had 18 teams sign up, so that goal that me and my staff have set up is 25 teams, and out of those 25 teams we’d like to get anywhere from 4-6 of those teams be co-rec teams, we are trying to get more females interested because it is a sport both male and females can play.”
Intramural sports are a great way for students to make new friends and have fun, and Student Engagement encourages students from all years to join.
Bennett said, ”It is such a great way to make new friends, and I say that to every student. It is one of, it not the best way on campus to make friends. 99% of the students that are playing do not have experience playing that sport in high school or what have you, it sounds a lot more intimidating than it actually is when you show up to the field or what have you.”
Kieran Schnur, Environmental Engineering master’s program student, said, “I played intramural sports all four years of my undergraduate career here at MC. It’s a great way to meet new people, play organized sports with your friends, and is completely free.”
Bennett also said to those hoping to bring a new sport to the program, “If we don’t have it, we are always happy to, if there is enough interest, to at least do a one day thing or a weekend thing, we’ve done that with ice hockey in the past, we’ve tried with equestrian in the past, so that sort of thing. I don’t think there is enough demand to have a full-blown Quidditch intramural league for an entire semester, but if students want to have it, it’s appropriate and it is something we’d be open to for sure.”