One of the perks to working in Campus Recreation is that you get a lot of opportunities to connect and work with some amazing people. I’ve been fortunate enough to have these experiences around the country and I’m thankful for the people I’ve met and friends I’ve made. As a member of National Intramural Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA) I’ve had multiple opportunities to give back as a volunteer in their Championships Series, specifically Flag Football and Basketball.
The past two years I’ve worked the Region 6 Basketball Tournament, which has been hosted by Eastern Washington University. I grew up in this part of the state and any chance I get to come back is always welcome. Last year I reached out to the IM Sports coordinator regarding Floorball. While he gave me his time in listening to me pitch him about the sport he wasn’t too keen on adding it at the time. This time when I was asked to join the staff again for the basketball tournament I used the opportunity to offer a demo program for his staff and students on campus.
I’ve done many demos and clinics in the past and honestly the engagement at them is a toss-up. Whenever I travel I use that as an opportunity to connect and offer a hands-on demo of the sport. I think it’s an important component to the education process. The more important thing I’m after is eliciting an emotional response, which normally is positive; but also helps whomever I’m working with a reason to think about how they can incorporate this program. I’ve done programs at schools like Western Washington University and Arizona State University. While staff were really supportive helped develop space and promote it in the end there wasn’t a lot of engagement from students. There are a number or factors that could have played into that, but sometimes things line up and others they don’t.
Going into this demo I wasn’t sure what to expect. College kids are busy and adding one more thing to the mix isn’t always in the cards. I showed up to get things going and we started our time off with five students. Within a few moments we were up to 10. We were fortunate enough to have a lot of students in the area playing other sports and practicing, so we looked a bit out of place from the norm. It was perfect. After a brief intro we started playing. We had some players from the club hockey team come out and it was great connecting them to the sport too. I even had students who weren’t playing come over to ask what we were doing. I wish every event or interaction I had went that well.
Upon further discussion with the IM Sports coordinator he couldn’t stop talking about the sport and the experience. We were already talking about how Floorball could be incorporated into his current program structure. He kept coming back to how the sport was similar to floor hockey, which had been popular in the past, but that it was different enough to excite people. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with them in the future and see how the program grows.