Can you believe that Fairfield University does not offer tennis as an intramural sport? The only current options for tennis are competitive Division 1 (D1) women’s and men’s teams or a co-ed club team. The club team is also extremely competitive and requires students to try out. These teams all have limited spaces and are based on skill. Therefore, if you do not make one of those teams, there is no “just for fun” alternative to playing tennis. However, the university offers many other intramural sports.

The university has limited courts which are reserved for D1 tennis teams and club teams to practice and play matches. When thinking about the D1 tennis team here at Fairfield, it is very competitive. Most people do not get a big opportunity to play on the team whether it’s the D1 team or the club team. As someone who has tried out for the club team multiple times and still hasn’t made it, it was very disappointing. When I first heard that there wasn’t an intramural tennis team, I was very surprised because I thought that if I didn’t make the club team I could just join the intramural team, but there wasn’t even that option. I have spoken with many students who have an interest in tennis but just want to play for fun and did not want to try out for the club team due to the time commitment or other constraints, yet have no other option to play tennis in a structured way. 

When we look at other colleges, Quinnipiac comes to mind because they are very similar to Fairfield. Quinnipiac is a D1 college and just one of Fairfield’s biggest rivals, but they have an intramural tennis team unlike us. It could be a funding issue, a scheduling issue, a weather-related issue or it could be that we just don’t have enough courts. Either way, it would be awesome and really cool to have an intramural tennis team.

Fairfield offers many intramural sports such as volleyball, basketball, badminton, flag football, cornhole, spikeball, soccer, floor hockey, softball, kickball, dodgeball, pickleball, table tennis, outdoor street hockey and eGaming. In addition, several sports (basketball, soccer, volleyball) offer all three options – D1, club and intramural. So why not add tennis? 

Intramural tennis would provide an inclusive fun community as well as the ability to make new friends, de-stress and get exercise all at the same time. This would be a great way to destress without the competitive pressures if you aren’t super good at tennis. Having an intramural tennis team would be beneficial because it would be a great way to communicate, meet new people and make new friends.

When school gets really difficult sometimes you just need a break, and the best way to do that is to exercise and take care of yourself and your mental health. There would be no pressure or competition when playing tennis and overall it’s an awesome way to just have fun. There are many health benefits combined with the social aspect that tennis can contribute to. Some of these health benefits include increasing aerobic capacities, lowering resting heart rate and blood pressure, improving metabolic function, increasing bone density, lowering body fat, improving muscle tone strength and flexibility and increasing reaction times. Another benefit is that tennis is a life-long activity and a non-impact sport with minimal risk of injury which can be played at any age or level. 

The university should consider offering intramural tennis, as there is a significant amount of interest from the students and it would provide many benefits such as inclusivity, community, health and of course – fun. 

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