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Published November 29, 2023
By Duncan Lewis
The University of Wyoming offers an array of athletic opportunities for everyone, regardless of skill level or interest. The UW Cowboys and Cowgirls compete at the National Collegiate athletic association (NCAA) Division I level in several sports including, football, basketball, golf, volleyball, Rodeo and more. Our D-1 athletics program exemplifies top-tier competition and school spirit.
There's an equally vibrant scene in club sports and intramurals at UW too. Whether students seek the intensity of high-level competition or the camaraderie of recreational sports, there's a niche for every enthusiast. This diverse range ensures that UW's athletic landscape caters to the competitive, the casual and everyone in between, fostering a thriving community united by a passion for sports and teamwork.
Our club and intramural sports programs here at UW provide opportunities for students to continue playing sports or try out something new during their time in college. These programs are made for everyone at every skill level. So, whether you have been playing soccer your whole life and want to continue or you always wanted to give hockey a try, you will be able to find your team through these two programs.
It's just a matter of finding the best fit for you! As you may notice, there is some overlap in offerings between D-1, club and intramural sports, such as basketball. This has to do with the level of competition.
Intramural sports offer University of Wyoming students, faculty, staff and spouses the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of sports in a fun, safe and organized environment. All intramural sports are hosted at the University of Wyoming and competition takes place between peers. Intramurals are meant for casual fun while club sports are non-varsity competitive sports that may require players to display a higher level of skill and commitment. Club Sports provide students with the opportunity to play in a competitive sports league against teams from other colleges at a regional, national and even international level.
Learn more about each club or intramural sports requirements, schedules, and competition by visiting their websites. Also, keep in mind that club and intramural sports are all hosted by Campus Recreation but there may be other opportunities, such as the Nordic Ski Team or Cowboy Country Swing Dancing club, that are student lead and recognized as Student Organizations.
There are several benefits to being involved in a sport. One of which is being able to make friends. When you first come to college, making friends can be a daunting task. An easy way to jumpstart this process is by joining a club. Your teammates will be there for you on the field at first and as you spend more time with them, they may become your best friends. From my own experience as a member of the Esports club, the people who I had the joy of playing with during my time with the club are still some of my closest friends who I interact with on a nearly daily basis. In fact, of the six people I interviewed about club sports, only one person knew people who were on their team before they joined. The rest all had a similar experience to mine in which they made friends based on their mutual interest in the club.
Jumping into a club sport or an intramural team in college is also a great way to stay active and shake off stress from classes. Whether you're into casual games with friends or a bit more serious competition, being part of a team keeps you moving, pumps up those feel-good endorphins, and might even uncover a new passion you never knew you had.
In the case of club sports, another benefit is the ability to travel to other universities to compete. I interviewed several students involved in various club sports who have traveled to places such as Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, Salt Lake City, Utah and Boise, Idaho to compete.
When asked why they joined club or intramural sports, the students I interviewed had several responses but there seemed to be two main trends. Some joined to play their sport at a more competitive level, while others joined to continue playing their sport in college. One person even said that they had never played their sport (Women’s Hockey) before, but that the club team was the first club that encouraged anyone to join, regardless of skill level.
I asked each of these students to tell me about their favorite memories from their time in club sports, and this is what some of them had to say:
“Traveling with the team to compete in Colorado Springs - it was my first trip, and everything was so new! I love riding, but I grew up in an area where I didn't have a lot of friends to ride with in competitions, so it was amazing to have people at a show to hang out with!”
-Casey Prior, Equestrian Team
“Team trips to Denver and Boulder for tournaments. It is always a great time loading up in a university vehicle and traveling out of the state for fencing”
-Noah Tibbets, Fencing Club
My favorite memory from my time with the Esports Club was when we hosted CU Boulder in a home event in the Arts and Sciences Auditorium. We invited four of their teams to play us on stage in front of a live audience. The event was one of my favorite moments of my college career.
Are you interested in joining a team? The first step is making sure that the sport you want to play exists here at UW. You can do that by visiting the club sports or intramural sports websites. After this, you can reach out to the club or check out their social media to see when the club meets. A lot of the clubs will have informational meetings at the start of their seasons that are a wonderful opportunity to go learn more, ask questions and meet some people.
When I was involved in club sports, I would always do my research to learn more and
I would start by attending these meetings before joining the club. I was able to meet
many friends in the Esports club months before my first day of classes simply because
I found out they had a public Discord server that I was able to join and hang out
in. If you have questions or cannot find out information about a club meeting, email
the club! Every club has an official email and leadership team that you can reach
out to for more information. Good luck and have fun!