The Tradition Continues: UM Residential Colleges Preparing for 25th Annual SportsFest

Coral Gables (February 12, 2010) — The University of Miami’s 25th annual residential colleges SportsFest will take place on February 19-21. A long standing tradition on campus, SportsFest is a three-day event where students from all residential colleges and apartment areas compete in 28 different sports and activities that include traditional sports such as basketball and soccer, mystery events, and video games. SportsFest is a major campus event that is organized and promoted once a year by several committees comprised of UM faculty and staff from the residential colleges.

Since its inception in 1986, SportsFest started with only two residential colleges on campus when the “Honors Residential College” (Hecht) challenged “The Residential College” (Stanford) to a sporting contest. Other residential colleges were invited to participate as they were added to the Coral Gables campus. “SportsFest has provided tens of thousands students the opportunity to enjoy spirited competition while developing leadership, teamwork and collaborative skills,” says Norman Parsons, Jr., Director of Wellness and Recreation, who has been part of SportsFest since the beginning. The primary goal of SportsFest, according to Rhonda DuBord, Associate Director of Recreation Programs, who has also experienced every event, is “to build a sense of community within the Residential Colleges between students, staff, and faculty”. In addition, Rhonda believes that SportsFest “develops team unity, floor bonding, sense of pride, and ownership in their [the students] respective colleges and floors.”

The opening ceremonies will take place on February 19 with a torch run, beginning by the bus stop by the Toppel Career Center and going around Osceola Lake to end at the Rathskeller for the kick-off at 5 p.m. Following the opening ceremonies, Dr. Patricia Whitely, Vice-President for Student Affairs, will host a reception for all past masters and associate masters to celebrate the anniversary. A special commemorative t-shirt will be distributed. Any team that misses opening ceremonies will have 100 points deducted from its total score. The main cauldron, located at the Rathskeller, will be lit for the entire weekend and extinguished at closing ceremonies on February 21. As of last year, Hecht has won most of the championships (12 times), followed by Stanford (nine) and Eaton (three). Pearson, Mahoney, and the apartment areas have yet to win a championship.

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