Are you up to the challenge?

The+rec+center+is+looking+for+new+ways+to+get+students+involved%2C+including+skill+competitions.

Casey Rothgeb

The rec center is looking for new ways to get students involved, including skill competitions.

Rachel Degnan, Staff Reporter

To supplement the lack of sports opportunities offered this quarter, the Recreation Center is offering brand new skill challenges in soccer, basketball and flag football. Intramural Sports & Special Events Coordinator Shana Kessler and her staff are excited to get more students involved.

“Each of these events is designed for up to 64 students to participate,” Kessler said. “Then we break everyone up into a group of four or five people depending on if it’s indoors or outdoor activity.” 

In designing the competitions, the student-run team focused on creating an event where everyone can participate. Because of this, the Recreation Center has opened the skill challenges to be all-inclusive. 

“We believe sports are based on skills and not gender identity,” Kessler said. “So anybody can compete against anybody.”

To ensure the event complies with Gov. Jay Inslee’s requirements regarding COVID-19, Kessler and her staff have planned sanitizing breaks before every event.

“We have built-in time and equipment so that we can clean everything in between use,” Kessler said. “So not a single person is touching the same ball one after the other without it being properly cleaned and disinfected.”

Senior and Intramural Manager Spencer Dalzell wants the skill challenges to be safe so that more activities can be planned this year.

“Obviously, bring your mask, that is required inside or outside,” Dalzell said. “But also bring a good attitude and some excitement, because we are trying to find ways that we can allow people to participate in events.”

Dalzell is looking forward to seeing some surprise athletes and hopes that the challenges can connect people to their community.

“It’s always exciting to see a person who doesn’t look as athletically built as others who come to the event,” Dalzell said. “Then all of a sudden they show that they’re one of the most skilled and dominant players.” 

Dalzell’s co-worker, junior and Intramural Manager Emily McDonald, was given the task of designing the soccer challenge.

“[The challenges] are a way for students to keep up with their skills,” McDonald said. “I thought if I were doing this, what would I want to do?” 

McDonald loves soccer and wanted her challenge to “focus on all sorts of skills so people can show their strengths.”

Though it is too late to sign up for this quarter’s basketball and soccer challenges, flag football signups are available through IMLeagues.com.

The skill challenges are meant to be competitive, but McDonald sees them as another way to socialize and participate.

“With COVID-19 this quarter, human contact is pretty limited,” McDonald said. “So we want everyone to feel like they are still important and that there is still a lot of stuff that we can do to feel relaxed and less pressured.”