UT chosen as host for intramural conference

The RecSports Department will be hosting the annual NIRSA Region II Conference Oct. 28-30. The conference will center around educational sessions, workshops, and team building exercises for campus recreation workers from all over the Southeast.

UT has been chosen as the host for this year's National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Region II conference.

Those attending the NIRSA conference, held Oct. 28-30, are poised to get “fired up,” event organizers said.

The conference is divided between an exclusively student portion held today and a general portion for both students and professionals alike, with a registered attendance of more than 250 for the remainder of the conference.

“Our theme for this year is ‘Get Fired Up!,’ which describes the passion that campus recreation professionals bring to their work, as well as our hopes for the conference,” Brian Stubbs, assistant director of RecSports, said. “Attendees will see old friends, meet new colleagues, share ideas and above all, take something back to their campuses. Specifically, providing examples of innovative programming, best practices, and collaboration were priorities in the development of the program.”

More than 25 universities are going to be represented at the conference with schools from Mississippi to Florida.

“The conference this year truly is a great way for those in recreational sports to learn from each other and improve their departments as a whole,” Mark Lopez, intramural graduate assistant in RecSports, said.

The conference is not just aimed at current professionals but also students aspiring to work in campus recreation.

“In addition to the 27 education sessions to choose from over the course of two days, the conference will also be a great way for student leaders to take the next step in their personal development, including a full day devoted to students on Thursday, an employer meet-and-greet, mock interviews and team-builder facilitation training,” Stubbs said.

Region II is the largest region for the NIRSA conferences held throughout the country and is seen as a great opportunity for UT to be the host.

“We’re very excited to show off Knoxville and the University of Tennessee,” Stubbs said. “Pre-conference workshops, socials, and demos will give attendees the chance to visit a number of campus locations and facilities, some of the more adventurous visitors will tour the Norris Dam Watershed by bike and kayak, and students attending Thursday’s Student Lead-On are pumped up about painting The Rock. East Tennessee and Downtown Knoxville are beautiful this time of year, and we think that the 250 visitors from dozens of institutions are going to want to return to Rocky Top in the future.”

A highlight of the event is the student focused programs featured. The programs are set to include mock interviews, and team builder facilitation training and opportunities for interested students to learn more about their area of study.

“Students will have a great chance to learn more about the association and careers in campus recreation, improve their skills in leadership, communication and a number of other areas, and get to know other students from throughout the region,” Stubbs said. More than 100 students will be in attendance.

The conference schedule leaves little time unused, starting the day with a work-out session and ending the night with events hosted in the UC Down Under.

Local sponsors have helped make the conference a success, including ARAMARK, Power Systems, Legend Fitness, and Mellow Mushroom, according to organizers. 

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