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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Girls just want to have fun in intramural contests

Girls just want to have fun in intramural contests

By Valerie Edwards/reporter

NE students play a game of volleyball in the gym. Men and women play intramural sports, but often, they play it separately.  Collegian file photo
NE students play a game of volleyball in the gym. Men and women play intramural sports, but often, they play it separately.
Collegian file photo

Female athletes have become more commonplace across the U.S. in media outlets and advertising campaigns.

On a local level, women are also involved with fitness and athletics, but they still do not outnumber male involvement.

Shahzad Nazir, instructor and coach on SE Campus, is passionate about the intramurals program on his campus and takes pride in the opportunities it offers students, faculty and staff.

However, Nazir concurs that the male-to-female ratio is not the same.

“Among the hundreds of students that participate in our program each semester, male participants do outnumber the female participants, but we certainly provide equal opportunities,” he said.

A couple factors may prevent more females from playing coed intramural sports such as football, basketball and soccer.

“Most females do not grow up playing football, so it is foreign to them when they have the opportunity to play,” Nazir said. “Also, females may lack the confidence to test themselves against males in these sports.”

Despite the lower number of female participants in commonly male-dominant sports, Nazir shared areas where females dominated.

“We have had female champions in many of our coed sports including dodgeball and golf, which are generally male-dominated sports,” he said. “Our champion volleyball team (Classic) last semester also included a roster of five females and only one male.”

In addition to the many coed sports offered on SE, competitions take place in which males and females compete separately, such as swim meets and fitness obstacle courses.

Students, faculty and staff are also involved in the intramurals program on NE, but they too run into challenges in having an equal number of men and women.

Kim Kerby-Dickman, NE instructor and coach, has a theory on the uneven numbers.

“Typically, guys come [play intramurals] to be competitive and team-oriented,” Kerby-Dickman said. “Women look more for workout programs and exercise classes, things that are non-competitive.”

With this in mind, NE offers the familiar intramural sports options, but they also provide options that anyone could enjoy such as Pilates, kickboxing, pingpong, badminton, tennis, bowling, etc. However, this poses another predicament too.

“With offering more [options] toward women, we have more women show up and not as many men,” Kerby-Dickman said. “We’re lopsided.”

Even though the intramural participation may be unbalanced, Kerby-Dickman hopes students will take advantage of the intramurals program available to them.

“It’s not a lack of interest, but there is so much out there now, it’s hard to pick ours [program] over something else,” Kerby-Dickman said. “Plus being a commuter school, sometimes it’s hard for students to want to come back.”

Luis Suarez, NE gym supervisor, agrees the intramural activities are uneven between the genders. Currently, basketball and volleyball are taking place at NE, which typically sees more males playing basketball and more females playing volleyball. When asked why, Suarez echoed similar thoughts by Nazir and Kerby-Dickman.

“Basketball is dominated by males, and some may take it too seriously,” Suarez said.

However, when both males and females are playing in games together, the genders tend to support each other.

“If a girl misses [the ball], guys will say, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll get it next time,’” Suarez said. “We try to make it as fun and easygoing as possible for everyone.”

The objective of each program is the same on SE and NE campuses.

“At the end of the day, though, if everyone is having fun, they will keep coming back,” Nazir said.

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