By ANDREA ILLAN
While going back to the routine can be hard, the Division of Student Affairs, the Department of Wellness and Recreation and the Department of Housing and Residential Life partner to give students an exciting event to look forward to each spring: SportsFest.
“SportsFest is an annual event bringing the entire campus and students from freshmen to seniors together to represent their residential colleges and compete for the SportsFest Cup,” said Ingrid Izaguirre, a Stanford Residential College resident assistant and previous Sportsfest participant.
For the 32nd year, 2018, it is scheduled on campus Feb. 9-10.
Izaguirre explained that this two-day event is one of the largest events UM has to offer and that it takes place on the IM fields as well as around the Wellness Center. She also said that “SportsFest gives all students the opportunity to rally some spirit, build a team and compete against their peers.”
As she reminisces on her experience, she describes the spirit of SportsFest weekend: “UM campus is buzzing with life and color as different teams show off their team colors, spirit signs, and residential college pride.”
Since the event is sponsored by Adidas, the prizes include a training hoodie for first place recipients, pants for second place, a duffel bag for third place, a long sleeve t-shirt for the team with best sportsmanship, and a hat for the one with the best spirit, all of which are Adidas-branded. Each team member of these winning groups will receive one of these prizes and the well-deserved bragging rights against the other teams and losing residential colleges.
This year, the competitions organized for SportsFest include traditional sports, such as, volleyball, soccer, basketball and swimming. There are also less conventional sporting competitions like battleship and tug of war. And for the less sportive people who still want to be part of the fun, competitions in Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros and a variety of brain games will also be offered.
While this event is definitely a thrilling time for students, many also describe it as a sponsor for a feeling of community, whether that is floor-wide, building-wide and even university-wide.
When looking at his own experience from last year, Raymond Leibensperger – a sophomore and First Year Fellow at Stanford Residential College – explained that “… it really depends on the floor as to how well SportsFest works as a community builder, but it definitely helps building-wide.”
He said he recognizes that he became closer to his freshman year floor during this time last year.
“It’s just a great time to be a part of something bigger and destroy Hecht,” he added.
This playful rivalry between the two freshman dorms is very noticeable from the minute first year students first walk on campus. As noted by Leinbensperger, SportsFest serves as a tool to feed this feud, which is exciting for students who have never participated before.
This, however, is not all that first year SportsFest participants are looking forward to in this event. Many have decided to participate due to a love of sports, a passion for competition, or further desire for comradery among their respective floors.
For first-year student and Hecht Residential College resident, Alec Musinsky, joining his floor’s SportsFest team is all about the latter point. When thinking about this upcoming event, he expresses he is “… looking forward to working as a team with them members of [his] floor and getting to know them better.”