Tuesday evening, team-by-team, students walk around the Aerobics Center courts to usher in the first annual ORU Missions Olympic ceremonies. Mission teams, big and small, participated in matches of volleyball, hand ball and dodge ball with the hopes of winning the end prize. Matching bandanas, decorated shirts and painted faces symbolized team unity in this competitive event.
The event was proposed by the university’s Student Association, formulated in the bright minds of Korey Hanover, intramural coordinator, and Cullen Parker, intramural operations manager. Student Association planned on designing an event to go hand-in-hand with the Winter Olympics and student participation.
In order to give back and also guarantee involvement, SA offered a portion of their budget to the winning teams of the event.
“We thought, ‘What if we did a student Olympic event for missions to help the teams bond and help promote our intramural program.’ It’s a chance to give back and mix sports with missions,” Parker said.
Tuesday evening consisted of the opening ceremonies and volleyball, where 48 teams showed true teamwork and sportsmanship, win or lose. The 24 winning teams advanced to a game known as hand ball on Wednesday evening.
Originally planned to be inner tube water polo, the final event on Thursday evening was changed to be dodgeball. Once 6 teams won the first dodgeball games, they advanced to a second dodgeball game. The final three winning teams moved onto a relay race. One woman and one man from each team paired up to compete in the relay race. The top places were decided by the winners of the relay race.
Teams that made it past round one and participated in round two received $75, and if the team won in round two, they received an additional $100. Once teams advanced to the third round, they were competing for the top three places, which were $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place.
An additional prize of $250 was awarded to the team with the most spirit, which was decided with an objective and non-biased criteria, according the Student Association.
“You learn how to encourage your team in areas they are not as strong in as others. You become unified for one goal and interact in a fun yet intense setting outside of normal team meetings,” said Jake Van Buren, team leader of the spring break mission trip to South Dakota.
The money awarded for the games lines up perfectly with the 50% deadline due February 14. This Student Association event proved to be a success by the chants and team spirit shown by the participating students.