It all begins and ends at Old Main on the UA campus.
UA campus leadership will host an Aug. 26 ribbon cutting for the Cherry Street Field and Campus Health offers on-campus access for intramural, club sports and drop-in leisure opportunities.
College students who regularly engage in vigorous exercise get better grades, according to a widely reported study presented at an annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.
That's good news for students at the University of Arizona, which offers myriad opportunities for participation in sports and activities – from team basketball to ultimate Frisbee.
Such activities offer friendly competition, social interaction and the added benefit of a fun way to exercise.
And the UA now boasts a new on-campus recreational venue, the Cherry Street Field, which will be used for a variety of intramural and club sports while also providing drop-in leisure opportunities for the entire campus community.
"I think intramural sports provides students a number of opportunities – a way to fight off the 'freshman 15,' a way to remain active and involved and a great way to meet new people," said Mirum Washington-White, UA senior assistant director of sports for Campus Recreation.
The intramural sports program at Campus Recreation offers activities for students, faculty and staff who want to exercise, develop lifetime interests in quality leisure activities and gain an appreciation of cultural diversity through recreational play.
The campus community has more than 20 options to participate in sports leagues and various tournaments throughout the year.
Men's, women's and co-recreational divisions are offered at three skill levels. League play includes teams formed from classes, through residence halls and campus organizations.
And for individuals new to campus, intramural sports offer an excellent way to make new friends.
Activities include flag football, soccer, volleyball, table tennis, tennis, inner-tube water polo, floor hockey and others. Tournament and social leagues include swimming, basketball, dodge ball, sports trivia and racquetball, among others.
"I truly believe in the old adage that sports are the great equalizer," Washington-White said.
"Participants are going to interact and compete with the people across the field from them, but at the end of the day, whether they won or lost, they're going to shake hands feeling better about themselves and feeling better about meeting someone new," he said.
Cherry Street Field Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Construction of the regulation-sized soccer field, the Cherry Street Field, began in January 2013.
The new facility features a 750-seating capacity, a scoreboard, lighting, sound system and other amenities. Contributing to the UA's commitment to sustainability, the field is irrigated with reclaimed water and uses water retention areas, designed into the landscaping on the north and south ends of the field, to collect runoff.
Also, for the first time, Campus Recreation will be able to offer informal, drop-in participation in an outdoor setting, said Lynn Zwaagstra, director of Campus Recreation.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the field will be held Aug. 26, at 5 p.m. just east of the UA Student Recreation Center, 1400 E. Sixth St.
"Campus recreation is excited to debut the Cherry Street Field as a great new amenity for the campus community," Zwaagstra said. "The addition of this sports field on main campus will add tremendous value to hundreds of student-athletes playing in club sports, and allow many students to participate in intramurals who may not have been able to travel off campus to participate."