By Samantha Smith
The National Intramural Recreational Sports Association is an organization that regulates a multitude of sports throughout colleges and universities nationwide. In celebrating the day it was founded, Feb. 22, 1950, colleges like Youngstown State University host events for students to participate in and promote the organization.
R.J. Markowitz, coordinator of Adventure Recreation, explained what YSU does to celebrate and why these events occur over a span of a week.
“Usually, the format for our NIRSA week is – what we do is – try to have events that will encapsulate each area of the rec center,” he said. “We have our wellness events, we have club sports events, intramural events, fitness events, strength events. So we figured if we do one of those on each day, it makes it easier.”
Events this year include: the kayak clinic, virtual 5K, tennis day tournament, art-to-go and fit minute challenges.
The kayak clinic, held Feb. 19, is open for those interested in learning the basics of kayaking. The number of participants is limited to five, so to check for available spots, students can go to the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center website.
The virtual 5K will take place throughout the week of Feb. 22. It encourages students to track their own miles however they like and at their own pace.
The tennis day tournament will be held Feb. 23 on National Tennis Day. The tennis club members will help facilitate singles tournaments for students. Anyone interested must register to participate through the IMLeagues website by Feb. 22.
Peaceful Painting, also called art-to-go, allows students to relieve stress and relax virtually with others. Students must pick up the art supplies provided by the rec center and reserve a spot by Feb. 19 to be a part of the art lesson.
Students can take on the fit minute challenges, keeping track of how many situps or pushups they can do per minute Feb. 26. Anyone passing by the rec center can join. Each challenge will last 1 minute, and every 30 minutes challenge winners can receive prizes.
Each event will follow COVID-19 protocols, including limiting numbers and social distancing, so students can have fun and stay safe.
Markowitz said each of these events can benefit students.
“I think you can see a bunch of different benefits from motivation to increasing your physical and mental health, to learning different skills and ultimately having fun,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing. We’re recreation; we want you to be having fun while you’re doing all of this.”