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Seniors reflect on intramural success

By Zach Cihlar

Section: Sports

February 2, 2018

Competitive or not, athletic or not, talented or not, intramural sports at Brandeis gives any student or member of the faculty an opportunity to compete in regulated, organized tournaments or leagues within the Brandeis community. Intramurals are open to players regardless of the participant’s experience with the sport offered.

Brandeis Athletics offers around 30 leagues and tournaments each year for students to participate in, the most popular among them being basketball, soccer and volleyball. The intramural schedule also features less traditional tournaments, including events such as kickball, innertube water polo, battleship and spikeball.

For some participants, intramural athletics aren’t just about physical activity or winning the coveted intramural championship shirts; they are about participating on a team with friends both old and new.

Despite her multitude of intramural championship wins, Amanda Shore ’18 said her experience with intramural sports has been primarily to exercise her competitive spirit with her friends on the softball team. Throughout her time at Brandeis, she has seen success in flag football, volleyball, tennis and innertube water polo.

Now working as a supervisor for the intramural events, Shore sees how the intramural program operates from a new perspective. The work solidified her opinion that the leagues and tournaments can help foster community among team members as well as across teams. Frequently, she said, she’ll see the same people across the court or on the other side of the net. As a supervisor, she experiences these interactions first hand.

“I feel like more students should play them,” Shore urged. She emphasized that intramurals should be a more central part of the Brandeis experience, especially for first-years wanting to meet new people in a competitive atmosphere.

Kyle Berney ’18, like Shore, experienced success in intramural sports. Berney has participated in a wide range of sports offered by Brandeis intramurals—spanning from poker and ping pong to tennis and futsal. In the fall 2017 semester, Berney earned championships in six different events. Berney is also on the varsity fencing team.

Berney’s sentiments are similar to Shore’s when looking back on his intramural career. The senior tries to engage with various combinations of teams in order to compete alongside a new group of people for each event. “I now try to play with a slightly different group of people for each sport,” he explained. “I love how it lets me interact with a large variety of people on campus in a semi-competitive but full-fun environment!”

Tahlia Quartin ’18, another skilled intramural participant, reported that she earned a total of 16 championships across a variety of sports throughout her time at Brandeis. Despite raking in the medals, she appreciates intramural for its inclusiveness. She said that “you don’t have to be very good at the sport to compete in it.” The open-to-all-skill-levels dynamic of the programs “gives you the opportunity to try new sports,” Quartin said.

After competing in varsity athletics throughout high school, Quartin sought a way to put her competitive history into practice without committing full time to a varsity sport. She found her athletic outlet in intramural sports, taking advantage of as many leagues and tournaments as she could. She’s been most successful in bubble soccer, basketball and innertube water polo, earning multiple championships in each sport. Quartin is the captain of Banshee, the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team.

Despite showcasing an impressive collection of intramural championship t-shirts, Berney, Quartin and Shore all agree that the intramural program has simultaneously extended an option for fun, competitive exercise while also building a community.

Julie Mizraji is the Brandeis Athletics faculty member coordinating all the intramural sports offerings throughout the year. Mizraji is in the midst of her third year as intramural coordinator in Gosman Athletic Center. She said she has found that her favorite part of the job centers around interacting with participants and engaging with student staff. “Many students are invested in the IM program, and the passion they have for their team and sport is contagious,” Mizraji said of the students involved with intramurals.

The students she serves use intramurals as a healthy outlet for relieving the stresses of school and life as a Brandeis student, she stated. She emphasizes the importance of having a budding and active intramural program in the Athletics department. The participants receive the benefits of physical activity, community and stress relief, while student supervisors receive tangible skills for managing teams, leading people and resolving conflicts when they arise during an event.

The intramural sports program at Brandeis offers opportunities, skills and entertainment in a variety of ways. Having partook in intramural sports throughout her undergraduate experience at UC Davis, Mizraji understands “the importance of intramural sports” in the college experience. “Knowing the impact I am making makes me excited to come to work every day,” she said.

The Spring intramural schedule features 14 different events, including the three-point basketball shootout, innertube water polo, softball, the home run derby and more.

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