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Transitioning to college can be difficult for anyone. For senior English education major Robyn Kozlowski, the solution was simple.

“Remember freshman year was just really tense?” Kozlowski said. “It was just a stressful time. Not necessarily the academic side, it was just hard to foster relationships. I think that intramurals is one of those things that just brings people together for fun.”

Four times a year, UW-Eau Claire students have the opportunity to play intramural sports. From softball to ultimate Frisbee and soccer to flag football, there’s something for everyone.

At the beginning and end of fall and spring semesters, a new intramural season starts. Each season runs for five weeks. Teams usually play once a week for five weeks and at the end, a championship game determines the winner of each league. Champions can be seen around campus sporting the coveted University Champion t-shirts. The sports offered change depending on the season, so students can play something different all year.

Jon Bollinger, sports facility student service program manager, said throughout the year, nearly 60 percent of the student body participates in various sports offered by the intramural program and university recreation.

“The program is really designed for the entire student body,” Bollinger said. “Our premise is based on participation. We try to provide something that’s going to hit everybody on campus.”

For freshmen wanting to get involved, intramurals offer the opportunity to sign up as a free agent and join a team as needed. Not only can new students find others with similar interests, but they can also escape the daily pressures of college life, Bollinger said.

“It gets you out of the library and gets your mind clear from studying,” Bollinger said.

For just $25 per team, students can not only stay in shape and spend time with friends, but learn valuable lessons that translate well into the classroom and other areas of life.

Junior actuarial science major Mike O’Connor has been participating in intramurals since last year and has played three different sports. He said intramurals offer a fun way to stay in shape, but they have also taught him other lessons.

“Intramurals has taught me a lot about teamwork and how to (make) everyone work together,” O’ Connor said. “You don’t have a coach telling you what plays to run, so everyone has to collaborate. Someone usually steps up as a leader to organize the team, but it’s fun because you kind of get to make it up as you go.”

O’Connor and Kozlowski said intramurals have taught them a lot about time management, socialization, communication and leadership skills.

While the games can get competitive, O’Connor said when it comes down to it, it is just about having fun with friends.

“I encourage everyone to participate in intramurals,” O’Connor said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad at sports, it’s a great way for people to make friends.”
There are many ways for students at Eau Claire to be engaged on campus, but for those who want to have fun, stay in shape and reduce stress, look no further than
intramural sports.

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