Cricket captain Luke Chafer discusses talks to GUSA about their upcoming - and much talked about - Intramural League.
This week saw Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) launch their new intramural league, with the first set of sports planned to start their fixtures at the beginning of November. The competition will consist of four houses: Grampian, Lomond, Cairngorm and Pentland. Each sport will have their own league, with the top four teams gaining points for their houses, and an overall champion of houses crowned at the end of the academic year.
The league will see teams of all abilities competing in biweekly “friendly” fixtures across seven sports: flag football, shinty, tennis, athletics, volleyball, rounders as well as men’s and women’s football. This is with the additions of Muay Thai, squash and cricket to come hopefully in the new year once Covid-19 restrictions ease to allow indoor sports.
Increasing engagement with university sport is a key aim of the intramural league, so the new league will not require a University of Glasgow sport membership and is free to play, meaning there’s no reason not to get involved. The result has been vast numbers of people opting to get involved. So far, 300 people have signed up across six sports, with volleyball seeing the greatest uptake of 80 people. Initially, the sports were capped with a certain number of places available. However; rounders, tennis and volleyball hit capacity within just days of launch, but with the commitment to facilitate everyone who wants to participate from the GUSA President Shereif Kholeif, capacity was increased.
The organisers of the league have also been pleased with the nature of signups. Speaking to The Glasgow Guardian, George Fournarakis, GUSA events convenor and the architect of the intramural league, has said that “it has been really interesting to see from the sign ups we have had so far all the first years and people who have never played the sport before signing up individually [without affiliation to a club]. It's great to see people wanting to try something new”.
Central to the running of the league are the newly appointed house captains. Speaking to The Glasgow Guardian about the formation of the league Grampian House captain and Glasgow University Athletics Club Captain David King has said: “I think this is definitely something that the University has been needing for some time now. I think it’s great for getting students immersed in sports whilst at university, especially sports which they haven’t played before or have played but are wanting to play more recreationally. Its importance at this particular point in time is even more crucial, as joining sports clubs and getting involved is, for freshers in particular, one of the limited and best ways to meet new people and make new friends. It will definitely go some way to forming social interactions that we have been missing for the past few months”.
It is hoped that the creation of the league will also benefit clubs in the long term with an increase in participation by removing the perceived barriers to entry. David went on to say: “for athletics in particular, it’s something anyone can do. It’s often one of those sports at university that prospective members, especially if they are a complete beginner, tend to worry that everyone else will be high level athletes. Once they join, they realise they didn’t need to worry as the club caters to all abilities. It can be quite daunting arriving at university and joining clubs, and this league will provide a stepping stone to those while providing a recreational yet competitive platform for everyone.”
The vast number of signups along with diversity of sports on offer means that the intramural league promises to be a great initiative for all involved.
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