UWG’s new additions to the competitive sports program staff has helped the intramural sports program grow and prosper. One of the additions acquired this year is Brandon Barnes, the Graduate Assistant of Competitive Sports. This year he and the staff have increased participation from students this year. Increasing the number of people signing up is not the only thing the program has done. Barnes and the staff have also added more sports for students to partake in. The plans for the program is to keep increasing student involvement by giving the students more options that interest them.
Barnes got his start in intramural sports while working as an official for the University of Akron. While looking for somewhere to continue his journey through intramural sports while being a Graduate Assistant, he visited West Georgia and fell in love with the campus.
“I knew this was a place to continue my education and get to work with some of the best, young professionals in the field,” said Barnes. It is not simply Barnes as the staff around him does a wonderful job day in and day out helping students that work for the department as well as participate in the sports. “I like being able to work with great people and helping students reach their fullest potential,” said Barnes.
As the student body continues to grow at the university, the competitive sports department is making the necessary adjustments. The department has looked into the growth and the participation of the study body and made rule changes that they feel gives a fair chance.
“We wanted to make the program all-encompassing for everyone and equal opportunities for all,” said Barnes. They have also began building connections with the Newnan campus in hopes of expanding. The department has also used the employees they already have to promote intramural sports on the West Georgia campus by distributing intramural sports calendars that have all the sports offered that season as well as video game tournaments.
The addition of new sports has been a contributor to the success of the program. This year they have added Futsal, or indoor soccer to the sports listing. The sport has had an incredible turnout in its inaugural season and has proven that it is a sport the UWG community enjoys. They also introduced a tournament called the Alpha Challenges which help them try out new sports and see which ones the student body enjoys. This helps the Intramural sports department figure out which sports they should make a league for in the future.
The future seems to be very bright for the program with the staff members having high expectations. “I believe the program will only get better and with all the research and evaluation going on in the field the programming will evolve,” said Barnes. “Our goal is to not only have the best program around but also be the most comprehensive university in the nation.”