Technews Writer
Sat Nov 20, 2010

With another school semester almost at an end, I stopped by the Sports department on Friday afternoon to speak to the head of Intramurals and Recreations, Jason Neal, to find out how successful he felt his departments programs had been this semester, and to see what classes he plans to offer students and faculty in the spring.

 

Has the fall 2010 Intramurals and Recreation program been a success?

Yes, definitely. This fall, we made a few changes to the recreational class schedule. We offered more Yoga classes (three per week), more Tai Chi classes (two per week), and added Salsa dance and cardio kickboxing classes. And based on feedback from students, we also brought back Argentine Tango, Pilates, and Belly Dance.

On the intramural sports side, we did not offer as many tournaments as last fall, but we added a few more activities. We conducted an indoor soccer league that ran six Sundays, and we offered an indoor floor hockey drop-in night on Mondays.



As far as club sports, we expanded the activities of the Strike Force Bowling League by taking our top bowlers to a two-day collegiate bowling tournament in Addison, IL. We successfully entered both a men’s’ team and a women’s team in a very competitive field. This provided us with a benchmark as we work toward building a competitive bowling club that could eventually become a varsity sport here at Illinois Tech, which is one of the department’s goals.

 

Athletic Director Enzley Mitchell and I have also begun talks with the Chicago Park District about the feasibility of using their courts at Dunbar Park in order to move our tennis club in the direction of a varsity sport as well. We have a great club, and some of the players have the potential to do well as part of a varsity team.

Several new activities have also emerged. We now have a co-ed lacrosse club. We put on a successful clinic, and based on the interest level, I expect the club to grow in the spring. Our women’s volleyball club has been conducting practices on Saturday mornings, and I have been trying to help them grow as well. Now that the varsity season is over, I have hope that the varsity athletes will join the club in their off-season, in order to have fun, stay active, and maintain their current skill levels.

There is a new dance club forming on campus, called New Velocity. Their focus is somewhat different from Dance 101. New Velocity aims to engage students in hip-hop dance, as well as other traditional performance dance training.

Education is also part of what my office does, and we take a broad, holistic approach. We sponsored a Nutrition Talk which included a trip to Whole Foods, conducted volleyball and lacrosse clinics, and distributed information about the NAIA’s Champions of Character program.

We also offered concessions at several sports events this semester, including a couple volleyball games, our Homecoming soccer matches, and swim meets. In fact, for the Breast Cancer Awareness swim meet with Lewis University, all proceeds from the concessions stand were donated to charity.

 

What in particular have you been most pleased about?

 

 

I have been pleased with the dedication of our instructors, many of whom have made the transition from independent contractor to part-time university staff. The goal is to solidify their relationship with Illinois Tech, while making it easier for them to get paid more regularly. Instead of invoices, they can now enter their hours on the website, and get paid with direct deposit, instead of waiting on a check.

 

What Intramural classes have been the most popular?

Yoga continues to be our most popular program, which is why we offered it three times a week this semester. Our Plyometrics class has become so popular that we have had to move the class upstairs, because the racquetball court is too small. The Tango and Salsa dance classes continue to do well, and we may expand them in the spring, if the continue to grow. The Tai Chi class has a very loyal following. It is not a large class, but the regular attendees are making great progress. I believe our cardio kickboxing class, taught by IIT alumna Suzanne Ko ’96, will grow in popularity in the spring.

 

What programs do you plan to offer next semester?

At this time, I plan to continue offering a full spectrum of classes in the spring. We may change of few of the class times, but we may also offer multiple sessions per week for one or two of the dance classes. The lunch-time classes are smaller than I would like, but I realize they’re in a tough time slot.

The spring basketball league will return, and so will the indoor soccer and indoor floor hockey leagues. We will offer sports clinics for archery, squash, handball, team handball, rugby, and disc golf. There will also be a spring tournament series for a few other sports, including racquetball, table tennis, badminton, tennis, and softball. We also plan to do another intramural swim meet and another Bike to School event in the spring.

Tackle the Tower, an event we held in the fall last school year, will be held in the spring. We will be donating to a new charity this year, a local organization that helps wounded veterans. I am excited about the prospects of getting even more participants than last year.

As everyone knows, I also coach the weights and throws for our Track & Field Club. I have already begun strength evaluations, and the throwers are getting ready for a great season that starts in January. Coach Kopinski and I are really looking forward to building on what was a pretty good season last spring. In fact, there are a significant number of non-throwers who have been following the workout plan as well. I will be offering a 12-week Introduction to Creative Strength Training Class in the spring, and we will be using body bars, kettle weights, medicine balls, and barbells. In addition, several students have been asking for a fitness challenge, and I am in the process of designing a competition that will focus on losing bodyfat. Keep reading Tech News to get information on all of these offerings and more!

 

Appears in
2010 - Fall - Issue 11
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