Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Leveling the Playing Field: Embracing Inclusivity in Intramural Sports

Students should take advantage of Furman’s intramural sports, which aim to reach all students, regardless of involvement in Greek life or other large campus organizations.
Illustration by Lila Dawson

The primary goal of intramural sports is to provide an inclusive platform where students can engage in friendly competition, promote physical activity and develop skills in teamwork and sportsmanship. Whether students are hardcore athletes or casual fans, intramural sports provide a welcoming environment where individuals can build community and play the games they love.

At Furman, a wide range of athletic opportunities are offered, from traditional sports like basketball and soccer to niche activities like Spikeball and pickleball. Furman’s campus recreation aims to cater to the varied interests of all students, allowing them to pick the sports that best fit them!

However, participation in these recreational sports is largely dominated by Greek life and other large campus organizations. In almost every league, one can expect to find several fraternity and sorority teams along with teams made up of FUSAB and FUOC members. This is especially true in the female intramural leagues, where almost all teams are affiliated with sororities.

While there is no issue with having large numbers of Greek life participants in intramurals, this demographic can create misconceptions. Individuals who are not in these organizations may feel as though intramurals are difficult to join or be successful in.

On the contrary, the purpose of intramurals at Furman is to provide an athletic outlet for all students, and students should take advantage of that. Recent changes to how intramural sports at Furman are run were implemented in hopes of better serving that purpose.

For example, the adoption of the Fusion Play app in the 2022-23 school year provides students with an easier avenue to get involved with intramural sports. Using the app, students can sign up their teams for leagues, check their game times and view playoff brackets and league standings.

With Fusion Play, students are more connected to campus recreation events than ever before — with all the information they need right at their fingertips with an easy way to browse the teams on campus. The only thing stopping greater student engagement is the notion that one must be involved with a campus organization to participate.

Kappa Delta Intramural Chair Lexy Faklaris ‘26 believes that limited knowledge of intramural sports is likely a reason for the lack of diversity in the leagues. “Without the app, I wouldn’t have known the start dates of any of the leagues or where to look to find this information,” she said.

Faklaris added that she would love to see more non-Greek organizations and individuals joining intramural leagues.

“I think intramurals are really fun, and I think more people should be involved so that it is more competitive and each team can play more games,” Faklaris said.

Currently, seasons are only a couple of weeks long, with teams only playing three or four games, making it a small time commitment. Some sports only have one-day events due to the limited number of teams in each league.

A welcoming and enriching sports community exists on campus — students just need to take the initiative to join.

Will Henderson ‘25 and Jack Sinex ‘25 are among the few people who play for teams that are not a part of larger organizations. Known for their iconic basketball team “Chino Hills,” they are proof that it is possible to get your friends together to make an intramural team.

“We were just a group of friends that met playing basketball and then decided to come together to make a team,” Sinex said. “There’s plenty of people on campus that want to do intramurals and are not part of a larger group. You need to put yourself out there and work together to form a team. Other people are often in the same spot, so you just have to reach out.”

This is obviously easier said than done, however. The busy schedules typical of Furman students often make committing to intramurals challenging. Despite this, Henderson has found intramurals to be worth the time investment.

“(Intramurals) allow our friends to go out and have a good time and compete together. It’s hard to find competition on campus if you’re not an athlete, and intramurals provide that outlet,” Henderson said. “Also, intramurals have introduced me to new people and helped create new friendships.”

While forming a roster for intramurals might be a challenge, there are both physical and academic benefits to doing so. According to the Earle Student Health Center, “participation in campus recreation strengthens student involvement and results in positive academic outcomes,” according to their yard signs around campus.

The notion that intramurals are uninviting for individuals outside of larger organizations is just not true. Established participants of intramural sports support expanding intramural leagues and believe that more participation will benefit everyone. A welcoming and enriching sports community exists on campus — students just need to take the initiative to join.

How to use Fusion Play:
Download the Fusion Play App and log in with your school email to get started. Browse the leagues and choose a sport of interest.
Send invitations to your friends and build a roster.
Keep up to date with sign-up deadlines and open registration periods.

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About the Contributor
Brock Eastman
Brock Eastman, Sports Editor
Brock Eastman is a junior from Summerville, SC. He is studying Biomedical Science and Religion on the pre-dental track. This is his first year with the paper and he’s excited to cover all of Furman’s teams and athletes. A fun fact about him is that he finished first in his age group in the Greenville Marathon two years ago.
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