The new school year is fast approaching. Before you know it, hordes of students will be flooding back through the doors of your recreation center. To help you get ready, a few recreation professionals, in various departments will highlight how they prepare for the upcoming school year.
To start, we spoke with Ross Winter, the assistant director for intramural sports at Michigan State University, about his end of summer ritual.
CR: What are some of the things you do to get the intramural sports program ready for the new school year?
RW: Most of my time getting ready for the new school year is spent prepping and making sure that I am going to have a significant staff of officials and a quality staff of officials. This is now going to be my sixth year here at MSU, so I have a good idea and plan of what needs to happen in order for me to run the programs. But obviously, with the graduation of students, I have to do a lot of work on the front end to make sure that my staff is ready and that they have all the information they need because when students return in the fall, we hit the ground running. We do not have a lot of lag time between the start of school and the start of intramural activities.
CR: What are some of the training activities intramural sports staff go through?
RW: We have an all staff training that takes place prior to the start of school. We shut down our building for two days and go over CPR/AED/First Aid training. We do all the risk management training. We talk about different scenarios, like the event of severe weather, an active shooter on campus and things like that. We do all the basic certifications during that time, so not only CPR/AED, but also blood borne pathogens. We do job specific training, where I take all of our sport supervisors and we devise a plan to properly train our officials, which will take place during the next week or two. Then we have three or four different locations where we play games, so we will go around to each location with the student supervisors to make sure that everything is where it needs to be and they all know exactly what they are supposed to do for each game or activity, at each location.
CR: Overall, what advice would you give other recreation professionals about running an intramural program?
RW: Enjoy it! There is always a time when the work overwhelms you, but the beauty of it is that you get to work with students. You get to see them grow and develop and help them along their path as they become successful and productive members of society. For me that is a lot of fun to be able to see how students grow and change the way that they look at the world and interact with others. I try to find the joy in it so all the mundane tasks and the hundreds of emails we get everyday does not way on me. I try to look on the bright side and see all of our students and everything we do in a positive light.