Wellness Center helps Canes maintain athleticism

When it comes to sports at UM, many students follow them religiously, often to the point that they visualize themselves in place of the athletes making the big play, leaving with the win and being celebrated as the hero. What students may not know is that they actually have the opportunity to make their dream a reality.

The Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center offers a variety of ways for students to get involved in sports, for both students who played competitively for years or those merely interested in learning a new sport. They offer both club sports programs and intramural competitions — there is something available for students with varying levels of commitment.

The wellness center offers 32 different club sports, ranging from common sports such as baseball, soccer, tennis and volleyball, to some more unique groups like fencing, rock climbing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Most clubs also arrange different meeting times for members who want to join for competitive reasons and members who are instead interested in the recreational or instructional aspect.

“Many of our students here were involved in some sort of sport when in high school,” said Rhonda DuBord, associate director at the wellness center. “With so many options available, anyone can keep going and meet a lot of new people in the process.”

In addition to practices, some clubs also participate in tournaments and other events held throughout the year.

By the end of the spring semester, there were 1,485 students enrolled in club sports, 69 percent of which were residential students and 31 percent, commuters.

In an online survey of 337 members representing an equal distribution of all the clubs, 89 percent said they originally joined to have fun and 63 percent said they joined to meet new people.

Whereas club sports generally go on for the entire year and offer varying levels of competition, intramural leagues are by nature more competitive and only last for a few weeks during the semester.

“Joining an intramural team is a great way of getting to meet new people and exercising in a fun and unique way,” said Tom Soria, assistant director at the wellness center in charge of intramurals and special events. “Not only does it break the monotony of studying all the time, it’s also a great way of learning leadership and organizational skills.”

In addition to the leagues, special event competitions are also being offered, ranging from dodgeball to X-Box Madden tournaments. With the exception of fantasy football (which lasts until the NFL football regular season ends), these events generally take place one day each semester.

To sign up for intramurals or for any additional information on the different club sports or intramural leagues, visit the membership office located on the second floor of the wellness center.