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Intramurals tip off at Sias
Intramural sports are considered part of the norm on college campuses in North America. On the other hand, it’s a fairly new concept in China, especially Central China. However, Sias International University is working on changing things in the Henan Province. Saturday, May 19, 2007, Sias officially opened intramural play with students and foreign faculty members. There was plenty of action on the blacktop where volleyball and full-court basketball were contended and on the stadium turf where ultimate Frisbee was in full swing. The movement for intramurals was started by students Jonathan Xin and Kevin Zhu and foreign teachers Chris Bernhardt and Jim Riordan. Zhu and Xin are part of the International Culture and Sports Association. “It’s a little different because the students just normally play for fun and don’t know the rules,” Xin said. Zhu added: “It’s like we said on our (advertisements), intramurals is to meet someone, to improve your sportsmanship and to exercise for a healthy life.” Nearly 150 students signed up to participate in basketball, volleyball or ultimate Frisbee teams. The basketball brackets filled quickly and organizers had to turn teams away. This first series will include three weekends of play, followed by a tournament. “I was so sleep deprived (from putting things together), but I think it went well,” Riordan said. “The refs were good, reliable; all the teams but one showed up; the teams even played together after their games. They were exchanging phone numbers. There was a lot of camaraderie.” The traditional Chinese sports program forms teams based on classes. Intramurals encourages students from different classes and majors to get together. “I helped start a program, and even though I didn’t play, I’m so proud of being here and cooperating with others,” Kevin said. “If this activity continues, I will be very, very proud.” Xin said: “This is an inheritance that we can pass on to other students.” By Kim Orendor Sias correspondent
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