Intramurals help students get into the swing of things.
Orchestrating the Kansas University intramural program can be a workout itself.
Mary Chappell and her staff of 17 work hard to keep the program running smoothly.
At KU, students can choose from six team sports, 32 sport clubs and take part in 10 tournaments in the fall and spring. Strong participation in the intramural program reflects the university's high regard for athletics.
"The students are lined up at 6 a.m. just to sign up their teams on registration day," said Chappell, director of KU's Recreation Services. "There is a limit to how many teams can be entered, therefore students want to be sure to get entered."
Chappell is sure that the turnout for this 1996 intramural season will be just as strong.
"Sportsmanship is high. Very rarely do we have a discipline problem," Chappell said. "The students realize that it is just a game and have a good time competing."
And that's a big part of intramurals.
Students are "learning about themselves, disciplining themselves and learning how to interact socially with their peers," she said.
"The hardest part about intramurals is not being able to provide everything that the students want," Chappell said. "No program pays for itself. The student recreation fee is never enough, therefore we have to come up with the rest of the funding."
Last spring, students rejected a proposed $21.5 million recreation center to be built on West Campus. The plan, defeated 983-2,307, was backed by Recreational Services.
Chappell said the vote was a disappointment.
"The students did call for a revote in the fall, so we will see," Chappell said.
But for now, Recreation Services will work to continue the success of intramurals.
In addition to providing some relief from studying, intramural programs "provide visible rewards," Chappell said. "These students are proud of their accomplishments in their intramural activities and it shows.
"A lot happens in intramurals," Chappell said. "They provide lasting friendships along with a high degree of fun competition."