Although intramural sports have always been a hit at Fairfield, the directors and supervisors are trying to make the program branch out even further. With an average of more than 1,500 students signing up for multiple teams each year, the new Intramural Graduate Assistant Sean Collins is looking to make the program more vocal in the Fairfield community, as well as more rewarding for the students who participate.

“I want to get a new population of students involved that we’ve never seen before,” said Collins. “A lot of times, it’s the same students signing up year in and year out. If we can find different activities that other students might be interested in, we might get a new population of students here that might want to participate in recreation. That’s really the main goal.”

This attempt to find different activities for students to participate in begins with collaborating with other programs around Fairfield, such as the Office of Residence Life and the Fairfield University Student Health Center. One step already taken by the program was the creation of a dodgeball tournament as a part of Welcome Week. There is even the possibility of taking trips around the town of Fairfield to participate in recreational activities like rock climbing.

“We want to try and engage everyone,” said Associate Director and Sport Club Administrator John Paladino. “[Students] may not be comfortable coming into that intramural setting. Can we reach that student population?”

Another change coming to intramurals is the introduction of a recreational app called REC*IT. It gives students access to all of the information one would normally get by looking at the intramural website including game schedules, teams and players and statistics, another aspect Collins is looking to improve.

Statistic keeping was monitored last year, but Collins is looking to do even more in his inaugural year. He has instructed his staff to get the most specific statistics possible, so players can look back on their performances. Additionally, those who do particularly well may get an All-Star game as a reward and receive prizes.

“We’re picking out a male and female MVP every game, and at the end of the year hoping to get enough interest to start an All-Star game,” said Collins. “We’re hoping to give a little extra incentive to try hard and reward the kids who are there.”

Another aspect Collins clarified was where and when outdoor games would be played in light of the construction on Rafferty Stadium, where Alumni Field used to be. Most outdoor sports were played on Alumni Field last year, but will now be played on Barlow Field until Rafferty Stadium is complete.

“We’re trying to be as accommodating as possible and be sure that we give the best options available,” said Collins. “Because there are no lights on Barlow Field, we have to play some weekend games.”

Collins also said that once Rafferty Stadium is completed, the usage of the field should be open to intramurals like Alumni Field was in the past. Therefore, having spring intramurals take place there is definitely a possibility.

Ultimately, the main goal is to collaborate with as many other groups on campus as possible and branch out to a wider student base.

“It’s student-oriented,” said Paladino. “We’re looking for student engagement. We’ll always try something that might make sense and we’re not afraid to fail.”

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