Mercer’s participation in recreational sports places them 13th in the nation, according to Princeton Review.
Recreational sports at most schools tend to attract a large amount of the student body and Mercer University has proven to go above and beyond that statement. In a recent survey and study done by The Princeton Review, Mercer Intramurals placed 13th in the nation in the category titled “Everybody Plays Intramural Sports”.
“Students have told me that ‘intramurals IS Mercer’. It is such a huge part of what we do around here,” said Assistant Director of Intramural Sports, Todd Thomas. “We also receive a great deal of involvement from outside programs such as the graduate programs of the law school and med school,” he added.
As an ongoing tradition that has become a staple at the university, Mercer students have made it a routine to sign up for nearly every sport and take full advantage of the opportunities to get involved, meet new people and have fun. “There isn’t a whole lot to do on a Tuesday night in Macon, Ga,” said Thomas.
Mercerians seems to agree with Thomas’ assumption, as members of the faculty, graduate programs, Greek Life and all others alike come out to play and show their support for their fellow peers. “Whether you are on the field playing or standing on the sideline cheering on your favorite team, the spectators and fans make up intramurals just as much as the players. Intramurals at Mercer are a social event and activity rather than just a sport. I’ve never seen that at any other institution,” added Thomas.
In the survey taken by The Princeton Review, any school that agreed to be a part of the research and that regularly participates in Intramural activities was tallied and considered. Mercer was only one of three schools in the top 20 that was a private institution. The majority of the schools were large, public, and widely known universities. Also, Mercer was the only Georgia school to make the top 20 list of universities.
Being such a small institution does not hold Mercer back, as proven by this study. With a large percentage of students interested and having a willingness to play, Mercer’s size plays a positive part in building relationships and keeping college students active simultaneously. “We have such a close-knit of teams and fans that teams often request to play one another. The players and fans absolutely love it,” said the Assistant Director.
While some schools struggle to get enough participants and support, Mercer’s campus can’t seem to hold all the members that wish to register. Mercer‘s recreational staff claims that events are at capacity. They have to scale back the amount of teams that play due to the lack of facilities and possible budget restraints that come along with having so many members. In this aspect, Mercer may not have the same luxuries of space and staff as schools such as Florida State, Notre Dame, and the University of Florida (which also made the top 20 list).
With the word obviously spreading around campus, it shouldn’t be too hard for the incoming class of freshman to learn about the events, their dates and how everything in Intramurals works. With most of the information up on the website IMleagues.com, Mercer now has many more options and ways to distribute information through threads, emails and other contact information.
Not an annual survey, if a few years down the road Princeton decides to tally the percentages again, Mercer may be acknowledged in the top ten or five in the nation. “Everyone is going to play. It is our job to make sure they have an environment where they can participate and cheer on one another,” said Thomas.
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