What better way to kick off springtime other than with some friendly competition?
The weather fared well on Thursday, May 12 as hundreds of Anteaters came together to compete in what is now called the ‘Spring Sports Festival,’ organized by the Anteater Recreation Center.
In previous years it was formerly known as the ‘Spring Fling.’
However, with the arrival of Marie Fekete, this year’s new club sports and special events director, came new names and ideas.
There were several events that students, faculty and staff could participate in at no cost, like Arena Dodgeball, the UC Irvine Bookstore 3-on-3 Basketball Challenge, Doubles Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Tennis, the Softball Classic and, lastly, the Arcade Challenge.
Though sign-ups prior to the event had been slow, many students dropped in the day of the event, making the sports festival an even more successful event than anticipated.
‘I think it was excellent,’ Fekete said. ‘Drop-ins went well and the arcade area was really popular.’
Included in the arcade challenge was a foosball table, air hockey and the infamous Dance Dance Revolution competition, not to mention complementary snacks.
The morale of all the players and staff were high and energetic, as sounds of laughter and cheer could be heard throughout the ARC Sports Field.
Teams in all the events were competing for not only bragging rights, but also for prizes sponsored by various restaurants, shops and, more notably, the UCI Bookstore.
All sports festival participants also received free T-shirts provided by the Campus Recreation staff.
The event lasted for three hours, where most tournaments and challenges had either been determined through single-elimination or double-elimination rounds.
The most popular of all the events every year is the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament sponsored by the UCI Bookstore.
There were a total of six women’s teams and about 10 men’s teams for the competitive and recreational league.
The Men’s and Women’s Tennis Challenge also seemed to be among one of the more popular activities, along with the UCI Softball Classic.
Most of the spaces for these two tournaments had been filled prior to the event.
Second-year biology major Vera Konkankit stated, ‘It’s really great to see all these people come out to play sports. It really builds another type of school spirit.’
Though Konkankit was merely a spectator, she said, ‘I had fun just cheering my friends on.’
Making the Spring Sports Festival a successful event took endless hours of hard work and dedication by the Anteater Recreation staff and their student volunteers.
Planning, handing out fliers on campus and promoting the event were among the jobs of several student volunteers for months leading up to the event.
Over a hundred volunteers helped during the day, starting from setup in the early afternoon up until the end of the event several hours later.
‘People who don’t even work here helped out,’ Fekete said. ‘The staff and volunteers are what makes this event so great.’
This event was open to all students, faculty and staff.
All one needed to do was pick up a registration form and rules sheet for the respective event at the Sales Desk located on the second floor of the ARC.
Since there was no cost for participation, it was pretty much a hassle-free process.
The sports festival was a great way to meet new people and compete in a friendly environment, whether it be in basketball, volleyball or even foosball.
It encouraged sportsmanship and team-building.
So, listen up, Anteaters! Look for the sports festival next year and do not miss your chance to sign up! Rest assured that there is something there for everyone.
Filed Under: Sports