UIS introduces new intramural activities

With the spring intramural sport season starting, along with new fitness classes and more outdoor adventure trips on the horizon, the Department of Campus Recreation is sure to be busy for the remainder of the year.

Registration is due early this month for four-person teams to play arena football and futsal, as well as individual squash and table tennis tournaments.  In April, registration closes for indoor volleyball, sand volleyball, badminton, slow-pitch softball, cricket, and basketball.

Director of Campus Recreation James Koeppe is happy with the offering, and said, “I think for the size of institution we are, because we’re a small school, that we really have a huge offering in every area. When you look at the list of intramural sports, just for spring semester, that’s huge. You go to another school our size, I don’t think you’re going to find a list like that.”

UIS also offers a number of fitness classes. There are courses offered five days a week at TRAC, ranging from fast-paced cardio exercise to mental training and yoga. There are also dance courses, including a new one focused on Bollywood.

The difficulty of the courses increases steadily over the course of the semester, so as to continually challenge and improve the weekly participants, but will be reset after spring break so new members can join easily.

The Department of Campus Recreation is also proud of its Outdoor Adventures program. According to their website, “The Outdoor Adventures program is committed to providing enjoyable, challenging, meaningful and educational experiences that will allow individuals and groups to learn the skills necessary for survival and safety in the outdoors as well as develop an appreciation for the environment.”

The next Outdoor Adventures trip is from April 17 to April 19, and will be to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. There is also a zip line and hiking trip planned for the summer.

As the new Director of Campus Recreation, Koeppe was quite satisfied with the current state of UIS recreation. “Our facility for a school our size is phenomenal. Just the amount of equipment and space…the checkout stuff we do,” he said.

When asked how he wants to change the program moving forward, Koeppe expressed a desire to get more students involved with Campus Recreation.

Koeppe stated, “I want to increase the amount of students using our facility…try to take away any barriers, I guess you could say…just trying to get people in the door. All the students pay as part of their tuition and fees so they have access to the facility.”

One example of a barrier Koeppe provided was the removal of the “two pairs of shoes policy” that used to mandate students bring an additional pair of shoes to be allowed into the gym, one pair to walk to TRAC in and another pair to actually be allowed to use facility.

Another rule Koeppe repealed was the ban on food in the facilities. Koeppe pointed out, “I want people to come and eat food while they watch their friends play intramural basketball, do it…I don’t want people in the hallway cheering for their friends.”

Overall, Koeppe expressed a desire to push the direction of Campus Recreation toward being friendlier. While happy with the current state of affairs, he pointed out, “I’m lucky as a director coming in that I won’t have to [create infrastructure], but I still want to make a mark and leave things better.”