If you start it, they will play

SPU students share the sports they want to see in intramurals

Illustration by Mia Eshima

Uriah Aguon, Staff Writer

With the selection of intramural sports at SPU being announced, students are beginning to wonder what sports may be added in the future. Coordinator of campus recreation Grant Rasmussen wants to welcome student input and encourage ideas from the student body in his new role.

“I would invite any and all students who are interested in contributing to the program to stop by my office sometime,” Rasmussen said.

Sophomores Jesse Toledanes, an exercise science major, and Raymond Razon, a nursing major, both advocate for powerlifting. As avid weightlifters themselves, Razon and Toledanes are well aware of campus interest in the sport and the benefits it provides.

“I’ve been weightlifting for a while, and I really feel like the gym community here at SPU would be interested in doing something more than just weightlifting and taking it to the next level,” Toledanes said. “I feel like that could be a great benefit everyone could enjoy because they have this added competitiveness that could help people become more motivated in the gym. It could also help to balance out your physical health, your mental health and anything along those lines.”

Razon thinks the sport could have a major, positive impact on students. He also points out that other schools have created a model for how SPU could go about scheduling.

“It’s something that everybody could benefit from, or at least learn from. I’ve seen other colleges like Western Washington and some colleges back home in California have powerlifting clubs and intramurals. I think it’s a really good way to get our students active, or at least learn about these things that could have benefit in the future, because these powerlifting movements are functional, meaning that they will benefit you in your everyday life, like squatting … and deadlifting,” Razon said.

Illustration by Mia Eshima

Sophomore apparel design major Isaac Johnson is confident intramural baseball would fetch an impressive turnout, especially considering the recent enthusiasm for the sport throughout Seattle.

“I know there’s a lot of people interested in baseball. I know if we got baseball started as an intramural, there’d be a really good turnout, especially because of how well the Mariners have been doing,” Johnson said.

Johnson and Toledanes also proposed the idea of starting up rugby as an intramural sport, stating there is a substantial community and potential interest campuswide.

“I know there’s guys on campus that want to do rugby, and if we added that, I’m sure we can get a turnout for that too. I think it’s a very niche sport – in America at least – and I think if we introduced it and maybe got some hype around it, I think that a lot of people would be interested in it,” Johnson said.

Junior psychology major Erica Sanchez suggested the idea of badminton or tennis. She believes these sports would be easier and fun for those who are not serious athletes.

“I feel like those are very accessible. I feel like in basketball and volleyball, you have to have some kind of skill … Not a lot of people are specifically talented in badminton, so it would be more accessible to beginners or just more fun … It’s a nice easy game to just get active,” Sanchez said.

Sophomore music education major Hannah Marsh has always wanted to learn rollerblading and believes it could be a fun intramural activity.

“I think it would be an opportunity for those who don’t want to run or do contact sports to do ice skating but on wheels,” Marsh said. “My favorite thing to watch in the Olympics is figure skating because it’s always so cool, and they do fun little jumps and little circles, and it’s a lot of fun. I think it would be fun if we did a little show like in Martin Square or someplace with level-enough ground. There could be judges, we could bring in professors, it would be really fun.”

Freshman Kayla Tassara, an intended nursing major, proposed adding yoga or a spin class. While these are not competitive activities, Tassara believes they would be fun and land a good turnout.

“Even though it’s not technically a sport, yoga is really good for the mind and body. It can help students destress or relax their body, which is always a really good thing,” Tassara said. “Spin class would be cardio for some people and would help build some muscle, which is always super fun.”

Tassara believes this activity would appeal to students who are less interested in mainstream competition.

“Yoga is more relaxing, but it’s still something a lot of people might want to engage in. In spin class, it’s again, not really impactful, because you’re just on a bike, but it’s still super fun and the environment is there. It’s more like an individual thing rather than like a group sport,” Tassara said. “There’s already a cycle room or cardio room, so there’s already some bikes that are there … For yoga, in the annex, there’s padded floors, which could be used for that.”

Sophomore French major Naomi Smith wrestled for both her middle and high school varsity teams and would love to have an outlet to continue wrestling.

“I honestly like wrestling, and I miss it, and it would be a sport I want in this school. I wrestled in middle school, and I wrestled in high school, but I missed out because of COVID. So, I wasn’t able to do it for my senior year, and I feel like if I had been able to, it would have been my best year,” Smith said.

Smith wants wrestling to be added to the athletics department but thinks adding it to intramurals would be a good first step.

“It’d be fine if was just between the students at this school, but if it was like a real sports setup between colleges, that would be nice if it could get to that point,” Smith said.

The possibilities and suggestions do not end with these eight students. Falcons across campus have voiced interest in different sports they want introduced to intramurals, ranging from lacrosse to golf to Spikeball to gymnastics.

If any student would like to propose an activity or sport for intramurals, they can reach Grant Rasmussen through the school directory. They are also welcome to stop by his office on the third floor in Weter Hall.