Intramural sports to commence despite COVID-19

Intramural Flag Football fields where teams will complete. Photo by Ciara Brown

With all of the unforeseen changes that have taken place due to the vicious hit of the coronavirus, what would usually be regular extracurricular activities for Rattlers during the school year, are now uncertain.

Activities students would normally not think twice about indulging in; like enjoying a week full of events for homecoming activities or attending stadium packed games, are now memories we wish we would’ve cherished more.

Thankfully, intramural sports are still in full swing for fall semester. Intramural sports coordinator, Coach Pye and his staff members went around to each residence hall to deliver team rosters, flyers, and information. Lists quickly filled up with names of willing participants.

Intramural sports have always served as an opportunity for students to be physically active all while having fun with teammates and some friendly competition. Along with flag football, the Hansel E. Tookes’ Sr. Student Recreation Center, will also be offering an indoor volleyball league, a cornhole tournament, table tennis tournament, and a kickball tournament throughout the fall semester. Students that may not be interested in physical sports, have the option for gaming online via Xbox or PlayStation.

Vatrece Harris, a current sophomore, participated in intramural flag football and basketball last semester. Harris stated that her flag football experience helped her gain friends and meet new people during fall semester. While playing basketball, she was also able to travel with her team to Gainesville for a tournament where they competed against various teams.

“I feel that it is good that they are still doing sports because it gives [students] the opportunity to still meet their peers and a way for them to interact without having to face consequences with all that is going on right now with coronavirus,” Harris said

FAMU Rec center volleyball court. Photo courtesy Ciara Brown

For most freshmen, this new normal was much unexpected and made them feel as though they were stripped of the highly anticipated HBCU experience. Intramural sports provides an outlet for new students to still be involved in some way.

“When I saw the opportunity to do something to make my first semester in college a little more fun and to be able to spend more time with my cohorts, I took it and it feels great,” said YuKwon Toney, a freshman who will be participating in volleyball this semester.

The FAMU Campus Rec has an app free of purchase for smartphones called “FAMU Come & Play” where it provides a list of every intramural sport, the openings for them, and the schedule for the fall semester.

Coach Pye, who has worked with the recreational center since 2012, shared that he is surprised and very excited the Rec will still be able to provide intramural sports for students.

“I recommend all students go to Bragg Stadium if they have not to get tested, it’s free. [Students] need to be honest. If you aren’t feeling good, tell us. If you have a fever, tell us. If you are aching, tell us. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 according to the guidelines, you should let us know because you can protect others,” Pye said.

In order for students to participate in the various activities, students must follow certain guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants. Certain gestures like high-fiving, fist bumping, and huddles are prohibited. Sanitization of all balls will take place before games, during halftimes, and after the games. Gloves are optional but will be provided along with masks which are mandatory to wear.

Intramural sports for the fall semester are set to last all the way up until Thanksgiving break and are always open to FAMU students. So as the FAMU Rec would say, “Come & Play.”