Photos c/o Gabrielle Bulman Thomas
If it felt like there were millions of new raptors fans this past summer, that’s because there probably were. There’s nothing quite like the first National basketball asociation championship in Canadian history to bring people together, one of the great powers of athletics. Whether it’s playing sports or watching the Toronto Raptors dominate the Golden State Warriors, sports have a habit of uniting people together over a common interest. This sense of inclusivity is also why intramurals play a big role in the off-campus community here at McMaster.
When you live off-campus, it can be hard to feel like you have a home at Mac. School can be a place associated with academic stress and not much else. This is why the society of off-campus students runs intramurals every week. Intramurals can be a great way to get to know more people who are also in a similar situations. Here’s what the president of the society of off-campus students, Jeremy Sewnauth, had to say about SOCS and intramurals.
“Sports are a universal thing that everyone can bond over whether you’re talking about it or playing it,” Sewnauth said. “At intramurals, we end up doing so many different sports, this term we’re running soccer, water polo and frisbee and those were the sports that the members of the society voted for.” Sewnauth said.
Taking part in the PlayFun division is a great way to get involved in sport through a relatively non-competitive environment, where no one takes things too seriously and everyone is just looking to have some fun. There’s no need to have extensive knowledge in the sport or know every detail about the rules. PlayFun is a casual level of sport where students can meet one another.
“You don’t have to have any experience, you don’t have to know how to play any sports, if it’s something you’re interested in or you just want to kill some time, you can just pop in and play. If you don’t know how to play it everyone that’s there is willing and able to teach you how to play,” Sewnauth mentioned.
Playing sports chosen by SOCS members themselves makes it likely that people will come out, as they are going to be playing the sports they voted for. This type of engagement with everyone in the club is part of why SOCS is so successful.
“Every single weekend we’ll have a full squad come out for soccer, frisbee and water polo which gives you the opportunity to bond with people. A lot of people after games end up hanging out and every time I’ve met so many people,” added Sewnauth.
SOCS aims to offer off-campus students a way to feel connected and provide a home at McMaster. They offer multiple ways of trying to do that but, sports and intramurals are definitely one of the best ways to accomplish their goal.
“A lot of the times you’ll see groups of people, like a floor in residence or something they’ll put together a team or that same group of students that were all friends before. In later years they’ll keep doing these intramural teams every year. We try to create something similar where we’re creating a community among sports,” said Sewnauth.
Being an off-campus student can often feel lonely but it doesn’t have to be. Intramurals are a great way to connect with other students. You can get a SOCS membership in the basement of the student centre and they’ll be more than happy to help you sign up for their intramural team.