This year’s Intramurals had been postponed due to a number of reasons: lack of budget (which in the past was drawn from the funds of the University Collegiate Student Council and a busy academic calendar – the series of accreditation visits, the ISO audits, the research and OBE training, among others. When the Intramural Games were eventually held, many sporting events were missing, most of them team ball games. We could have done better. Unfortunately, we sacrificed a lot.
First of all, many sports categories have been removed from this year’s Intramurals.
Events such as track and field, beach volleyball, lawn tennis, badminton, table tennis, dance sports and chess were absent from the competitions. This stemmed from the lack of budget which, of course, is due to the low number of college students. We encountered this scenario last year as well. As a result, although the audience poured in on more prominent sports such as basketball and volleyball, there were less physical activities that were staged.
Secondly, the Intramural winners had nothing to look forward to after their victory.
PRISAA, or the Private Schools Athletic Association meet, annually launches a three-part sports competition beginning the second semester. It starts with the Inter-school Provincial Meet, which is usually held in December, followed by the Regional Meet around January or February, and finally concludes with the National PRISAA in April.
Unfortunately, with this year’s Intramurals having been held in the same month as the National Meet, the players from the winning teams were no longer able to compete in the Provincial PRISAA. This reduced the thrill of joining the Intramurals, which in turn discouraged participation in various Intramural events.
Of course, we cannot deny the adrenaline which fueled the recently held Intramurals. Fans from each department shouted eagerly as they witnessed the intensity of spikes and slam dunks. Then again, the excitement was largely caused only by the colleges trying to defend their colors, and not so much by the athletes trying to push their individual potentials.
Another problem which stemmed from the postponement was that the school lacked a highly selective pool of competent athletes that could be pitted against other PRISAA member schools.
While MSEUF joined the PRISAA Provincial Meet and did win in almost all categories, the victory was not something to crow about. Despite us being the champions in this year’s Inter-school Meet, there was only a small difference between the total points we amassed and those of the second place winner. There was only a small difference between the top two winners in the final tally. This shows a considerable drop in our performance. Of course, it can be told that the lack of fresh talents (there are no first and second year college students due to the K-12 program) is partly to blame.
But we can do better than this. There should be a fair consideration for the benefits that sports brings to our students. Hence, sufficient time should be allocated for the tryouts, training and actual competition, regardless of whether the academic calendar is full.
All work and no play makes Juan and Juana dull. The adage is true. We need to be reinvigorated from the heavy academic load and sports helps bring this about. We call on our University authorities to strike a balance between academic and sporting activities.
The delay in holding the Intramurals cost us. Only 19 athletes reached the National PRISAA, and all we garnered were a measly three bronze medals, a departure from our past records where we carted off nearly 50 medals in a number of events.
This is not to say that our Wildcats lost in the skirmish. They just did not have enough time to train and to hone their skills to championship level.
We all have to realize that it is not only in academic activities that an academic institution like ours promotes itself. Sports rivalries are ignited because they promote school pride and attract enrolment.
When college freshmen return, we hope that sports willl receive the boost that it deserves in the University.