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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

A Brief History of Grinnell’s Non-Varsity Athletics

By Danielle Williams

Grinnell is a school that offers activities to suit everyone’s needs: whether they are performance and visual arts, academic, community service, student government or athletic activities. One thing is sure, you don’t have to be an athlete to be athletic at Grinnell. Both on and off campus, you can find a plethora of pastimes to satisfy your need to break a sweat or two.

Photographed by Ayesha Mirzakhail

For those students who think, “Yes, I’d love to play a sport, but I really don’t have the time to commit 20 hours a week to practice,” there are plenty of other options—varsity sports aren’t the only way to get active.

In addition to varsity sports, Grinnell has an extensive intramural program. Intramurals offer the same satisfaction as the varsity sports in a more informal setting. Essentially, all the varsity sports Grinnell offers are also offered as intramurals. Intramurals can range from badminton and billiards to dodgeball, touch football and soccer. And it’s pretty easy to join in the fun—all you need to do is sign up at

If you prefer a little trash-talking, most of the intramural activities will have a competitive option for those who want to take the games more seriously. Otherwise, there is a non-competitive option for those students who want to just go out and have fun.

If your goal is just to keep fit, turning into an intramural pro isn’t the only way. The Bear Athletic Center is an excellent space to workout or play sports on our own or with friends. The Bear houses a fitness center, field house, pool, steam room, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a rock climbing wall and much more. Before you make the walk to the Bear, make sure you have your P-Card as you can’t use any of the facilities without it.

It’s important to remember the best way to get started using any of these facilities is to just show up. If you have your own equipment, even better, the court’s all yours as long as there’s not a team practice at that time. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can borrow equipment free of charge from the Cage in the basement of the Bear.

North of the Bear, there are practice fields for the varsity sport teams as well as a public golf course. If you didn’t bring your clubs to college, don’t worry; you can rent them there.

Furthermore, if you ever feel like being active off campus there are plenty of athletic resources in the town of Grinnell. Grinnell is home to a yoga studio, bowling alley, disc golf course, Taekwondo School and dance studio.

With all of the resources available for students to be active it shouldn’t be hard for anyone to find an activity that works for them.

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