Intramural Programs & Activity ClubsPrint Page
Outside of physical education, do your students have opportunities to practice physical activity skills? Intramural programs and activity clubs allow students to experience a variety of physical activity and games that will contribute to an active and healthy lifestyle without the competitiveness that comes with traditional team sports.
Developing a before/after school intramural program or activity club for students is a great way to provide resources and exposure to new sports, activities and games. It also creates a sense of belonging to the school environment, and connection with teachers and peers outside the classroom. Activities may include friendly competitions in various sports like kickball, open gym, jump rope, frisbee, capture the flag, yoga, and dance lessons, and can be based on student choice, development of specific skills or to prepare for fitness testing. When offering intramurals and activity clubs, remember:
- Discuss with school administration how to incorporate intramural programs and activity clubs at your school. Review current programs and identify gaps of activities. Questions to consider:
- How many and what type of activities to offer?
- What space is available to use?
- What barriers exist that may prevent students from participating?
- How will students be recruited and registered to participate?
- Who will supervise?
- When will the club be scheduled (how often, how long will each activity last)?
- Engage students to find what activities they’re interested in! Be sure to include ideas that are not just sport focused, such as open gym or fitness circuit course and fitness classes. Participation in activities and clubs should provide choice for students and should be voluntary.
- Create an inclusive physical activity environment that is both welcoming and respecting of all abilities and fitness levels.
- Once activities have been identified, establish a budget for the program and club to be successful. Consider volunteer time and donated goods and spaces. Consider applying for a grant to cover costs.
- Review the district’s policy for supervision of the activities and facility maintenance. Determine if facilities can be open to the community.
- Use school and community communication channels (websites, school newsletter, morning announcements, etc.) to promote the intramurals and clubs to students and families.
Social Emotional Health Highlights
Activities such as these help students explore…
Self-Awareness: Getting involved in extra-curriculars allows children to gain self-confidence and self-efficacy through activities that are special to them. Through this, they can explore their strengths in more depth and identify areas of growth that align with their interests.
Relationship Building: Incorporating opportunities for physical activity through team sports helps children build skills in communication, teamwork, and social engagement. Intramural programs and activity clubs teach lessons about communicating clearly and listening to others as well as working together to achieve a common goal!
Starting small is okay! If your school currently does not have any intramurals or activity clubs, consider one or two activities to start. Walking programs are often the easiest and low cost.
Consider transportation issues for students to come early or stay after school. If it’s going to be an issue, consider operating your club during recess or during regular school hours.
Engage parents and the community! Think outside the box and four walls of your school. Here are a few examples. A parent with an interest or talent may volunteer to give lessons one day after school each week. A community member skilled in the martial arts may offer beginning martial arts training to students and staff. Community bicycle club members could meet after school and talk to kids about bicycle safety and hold a bike rally one time each month. Local sports businesses may sponsor the club with donations of water bottles, t-shirts, and equipment.