University of Wisconsin RecWell has expanded their offerings and structures for the spring semester following a fall of only virtual options.
Intramural offerings from RecWell this semester will be a hybrid of in-person and online activities, RecWell Coordinator of Sports Programs Lane Goodwin said in an email to The Badger Herald.
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“We’re thrilled to have students back in our spaces again, especially at the Nick, just with masks and being cognizant of physical distance,” Goodwin said. “What hasn’t changed is the fun to be had and our champions winning the coveted Intramural Sports Champ Shirt.”
The in-person sports returning to the intramural scene for the spring semester include soccer tennis, a basketball HORSE tournament, curling and more, Goodwin said. These will be accompanied by the online activities that were offered last semester, such as Rocket League, trivia nights and FIFA.
After being forced to stop traditional sports activities last spring due to the pandemic, intramurals had to go completely online. Goodwin said RecWell had already laid the groundwork for virtual and online gaming competitions through previous offerings — they just had to expand the scope, add new games and listen to students.
Member of the League of Legends team Paige Elizabeth Leistner said she does not think the eSports offerings have been hit too badly by the pandemic. Members are still able to socialize together, communicate with their teammates and form communities in online spaces. Leistner said she does wish that teams were able to hold in-person meetings, but she understands keeping everyone safe is more important.
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Goodwin said he believes students are enjoying having outlets to compete and connect with their peers during these times. RecWell was able to reach a whole new population of students with their expanded eSports offerings and hopes to continue that excitement with the reintroduction of some of their in-person sports, Goodwin said.
Collin Nelson, an engineering student who will participate in an upcoming curling tournament, said in an email statement to The Badger Herald that he believes the opportunities have been a great experience amid the pandemic.
“I feel that UW-Madison understands the importance of having activities for their students, and allow them to compete and be challenged,” Nelson said. “With the additional offerings by RecWell, this has provided me opportunities to expand my traditional sports to a more diverse and new portfolio of experiences.”
The deadline to sign up for the spring session is Feb. 2 at midnight.