Written by Devin Smith
The main reason I do intramural sports is because it combines my love for sports and community. I played sports all throughout highschool and devoted countless hours to practicing, training, and competing. Whenever I got to college, I felt like I was missing something because I had no way to burn that pent up energy and frustration that school produces. I also missed the community that is associated with structured team sports. The majority of my closest friends in highschool were the guys I played sports with. There's a special bond that forms when you suffer through gruesome practices with someone and rely on them to be successful in that sport. The community that gets formed from playing sports is so rich and hard to reproduce; it provides a great opportunity for outreach and evangelism.
I realized so many people come to college with the exact same longing for sports and community I described. Both Christians and non-Christians alike love sports, so they are a perfect opportunity to break that initial awkward interaction when you first meet someone by having something in common. After playing any kind of sport with someone, you feel like you know them and trust them in an unspoken way. I felt like this was an essential aspect of college outreach that not only I, but the BCM as a whole, was lacking. By not having consistent sports and active events, I think we missed being able to reach a lot of people who might have initially joined us for the sports, but fell in love with the Gospel and the community of the BCM. Getting to play intramurals allows me to utilize something that I love to reach students and show them what a good Christian community looks like.
We have had intramurals going for a few weeks now and have had teams play Ultimate Frisbee, Soccer, and Football. It is such an encouragement to see how excited everyone in the BCM is about playing and being part of a team. I know for me, it has been something I look forward to every week and has brought me closer to a lot of people. When we play, the goal is to compete in such a way that people can tell we are different: in the way that we interact with our teammates and opponents and how we pray before games. We want to represent the BCM and be a light to all of the students we play against, while still being competitive and having a good time.
So far, we haven’t had a lot of non-Christian students join our teams and play with us yet, so that is something we can keep working on by inviting our friends and using our intramurals as a talking point with new people we meet. We are still getting the culture of having BCM intramural teams established though, so I am excited about the future outreach possibilities this will provide us. We are creating teams for Softball and Dodgeball to finish off the spring semester, so invite everyone you know to join us to have a low-commitment and low-stress good time!