With classes being held online and the lack of buzz on campus, students may find Queen’s slightly unfamiliar this semester. One familiar tradition however, has returned: Queen’s intramurals.
Although necessary modifications have been made to avoid the spread of COVID-19, intramurals will still serve as a venue for first-year floormates to get to know one another, or already familiar housemates to get some much-needed time outside the house.
In a written statement to The Journal, Athletics & Recreation (A&R) said the season, which began in early October, is off to a smooth start.
“The feedback received and experienced so far has been very positive, with students enjoying being able to get active and participate in intramural activities and feeling safe doing so. We have close to 200 teams and approximately 900 unique participants. Close to 40% of current participants are first-year students.”
Some sports have been dropped this semester due to the unfeasibility of playing them without close contact or the use of hands, such as basketball and dodgeball. Many favourites still remain, including soccer and ultimate frisbee.
The remaining sports have undergone some modifications—for example, soccer will do kick-ins instead of throw-ins, and all team sports participants must maintain a two-metre distance at all times.
“The current provincial regulations allow for organized team sports that are practiced or played in a league within the facility if the league contains no more than 50 people. All of the current intramural activity offerings have been modified in a number of ways to fit within the regulations, including modifying game rules to promote physical distancing, extensive facility cleaning protocols, screening of all participants, and strict venue and league capacity limits,” A&R’s statement said.
According to A&R, students have been receptive to the changes and are doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Participants have been very diligent in acknowledging and applying the new protocols and safety measures, and there is interest in adding opportunities.”
As the weather cools, A&R is currently working to plan indoor intramural options that will comply with provincial, public health, and University guidelines.
Intramurals have long been a favourite element of most students’ undergraduate experiences.
“Intramural sports have a long-standing history at Queen’s dating back to the earliest days of the University. In recent years, Queen’s offers one of the largest intramural programs in Canada where in a typical year over 900 teams, 8,000-10,000 students participate in one or more intramural activities.”
Their return is sure to be welcomed by students and remains a viable option for those looking to add an element of fun to their exercise.
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