Insight on the 2015 Monster Dash

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As Raleigh’s hot summer days turn into chilly fall nights, we look forward to helping the Wolfpack family grow through fun, engaging events. One event that we are looking forward to is the Monster Dash on Centennial Campus.

Scheduled to kick off on October 29th, this event combines obstacle course racing with Halloween traditions. The combination of running, crawling and critically thinking fits NC State’s mindset of “Think and Do” like no other.

The 5 kilometer, 3.1 mile race begins with a puzzle that is meant to stimulate the mind before a plethora of new challenges. Teams have to work as a unit to finish their puzzle or lose precious time to their fellow competitors. Once the puzzle is complete, participants begin their quest for first place as the Dash officially starts.

A staggered run from Centennial’s Greenway to Lake Raleigh leads to the paddling phase, which is one of the most fascinating elements to the Monster Dash. Kaley, a participant from last year’s Monster Dash says, “Paddling was the coolest part of the Dash because some of us had to learn on the fly. It gave us so many laughs and moments to remember.”

This year’s Dash is at night, adding a whole new level of difficulty for the paddling phase. Though the water will have lighting, paddling at nighttime will make the journey interesting as many participants will experience paddling in the dark for the first time.

An interview with one of the Monster Dash’s coordinators shed light on this year’s new component. “Hosting this event at night will make it extremely interesting. Paddling on Lake Raleigh at night while wearing wild Halloween costumes will definitely make it a night to remember” said the Monster Dash coordinator.

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Once the paddling phase is complete, runners will pick up their team pumpkin from the Greenway and proceed to Centennial’s Oval to complete a plethora of challenges. These challenges test teamwork and communication skills as teams will complete tasks varying in difficulty such as jumping through tires and completing small games.

After the games on the Oval are done, participants will complete their longest straight run of the day. This run will serve as crunch time that will likely dictate the winners of the race. Competitors will have to remain consistent and strong on their stride towards the finish line.

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At the end of the run, participants will finish with a bang as the last part of the race is a 50-yard low crawl through mud. This part of the race will stress the concept of unity within teams as all four members will have to complete the low crawl to cement a finishing time.

Throughout the race, teams will enjoy their time together working hard and thinking critically on the pursuit of the coveted first place title. Laughs aplenty will be generated through great costumes and challenging tasks, creating great memories to start the fall season.

The winning team will take home a prize pack including an Adidas sports bag, perfect for holding gym apparel. All participants who register before October 22nd will also receive a commemorative Monster Dash tee shirt in their size.

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Post-run, competitors will be treated to snacks and encouraged to take pictures of their team’s costumes. At this stage, costumes will be the focal point as participants and staff alike will marvel at the creativity of the Wolfpack family. After a review from race staff, the best costumes will receive a prize from University Recreation.

To register for this race, visit IM Leagues to add your team of four or even enter as a free agent. Teams of four will be constructed upon submission of teams with any less than four participants.

Benefits of Competitive Sports

 

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University Recreation is dedicated to providing students with a plethora of options to maintain healthy, active lifestyles while pursuing academic goals. This dedication makes our competitive sports sector an integral part.

Many students at NC State have a passion for athletics. Sadly, not all of us had the basketball skill of Abdul-Malik Abu or the football skill of Jacoby Brissett to continue playing at the highest level. This leads us to require a fix or a supplemental realm to live out our athletic dreams.

Within our recreational facilities at NC State, many competitive sports teams host games and matches built to test competitive will and build camaraderie. From cricket to the popular flag football, University Recreation covers a wide demographic of different athletic interests.

The various sports University Recreation offers allow participants to enjoy a multitude of different sports, even some during the same seasons. Getting into a sport and building relationships with your peers of different characteristics is easier when you’re interacting through competition. Taking advantage of this allows the participant to benefit in a variety of ways.

ACADEMIC 

Playing competitive sports in college has been proven to increase the rate of positive academic achievement. Spikes in grade point average, test scores and overall consistency in school have been linked to participation in intramural and club competition.

A 2014 study at the University of Maryland provided context into the known fact of competitive sports’ impact on education. The research in this study led by Maryland professor Sangmin Kim utilized a representative sample of 9,230 students in high school and college.

10 years of research concluded in findings that showcased a positive relation between high math scores and competitive sports participation. Sports such as baseball, soccer and football in particular showed high scores in reading along with consistently above average scores in math.

These statistics prove the true benefit of competitive sports. The added activity in your schedule can keep you busy while participating in a sport you love. Overall, staying busy is extremely helpful to the pursuit of a success academic career as you are constantly processing experiences. Utilize competitive sports as a part of your day in which exercise produces growth.

SOCIAL

Competitive sports in college allow participants to maximize understanding of their peers and colleagues. The more dialogue a student has with their classmates, the better they understand the culture they reside in and how they can make an impact on it. Competitive sports foster healthy communication through sports, promoting the idea of campus growth.

In a study conducted by Brock University in Ontario, Canada, competitive sports’ benefit to college students is studied on a social level. The study aimed to provide information on what social characteristics changed in participants of friendly competition.

After a review of over 300 surveys, the study found competitive sports to improve leadership abilities grow self-confidence and especially improve tolerance of different culture. The last one in particular struck a nerve as participants noticed a major spike in their acceptance of other culture.

When you go to a prestigious public university, you encounter people from all across the world. Participants of this study showed growth in their understanding through constant communication with people from various cultures. Sports was utilized as a medium between American culture and the world, creating a space in which participants can grow personally through simply playing games.

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Competitive sports also proved to reduce social alienation amongst participants. During college, things get tough and time goes quickly leading to people alienating themselves to find peace. The Brock University study showed that sports allowed students to release the tensions of the day with their peers instead of coping alone.

As a senior at NC State, I can attest to having moments in which I wanted to be alone. Through it all, playing club soccer allowed me to find people who I could relate to, making my time here easier.

The relationships I’ve built through simply playing sports have made life fun at NC State. Whether its having relationships with coworkers or classmates that I already met through competitive sports, simply kicking a ball around built relationships that make my day-to-day routine flow in an enjoyable manner.

PHYSICAL

Over everything, competitive sports’ benefit to the physique is the most evident. Whether its strength, endurance, or coordination, competitive sports allows students to continue living like an athlete.

The mentality behind always being prepared for competition encourages physical attributes to flourish and develop through sport. While having fun and developing relationships, sports such as soccer and basketball promote cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular health is vital in many day-to-day aspects including energy reservation and energy use. The better your cardiovascular health is, the easier the long walk from one class to another becomes.

Many studies have highlighted competitive sports’ ability to help maintain fitness in participants. The motivation to exercise is unconscious as the motivation to win and have fun prevail. This makes exercise effortless while maximize physical attributes.

Competitive sports provide students with a wonderful opportunity to thrive academically, network with peers and maintain fitness. University Recreation offers a variety of intramural and club sports for the Wolfpack to take advantage of these potential benefits.

To get more information on intramural and club sports, check out the links attached in this sentence. We can’t wait to see you at our courts and fields this year. Plus, we give away really cool shirts to champions!

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Think and DOminate,

Cherif Gueye

 

 

Officials Highlight: Dustin Champion and Chris Jones

NC State’s expansive competitive sports programs would not be as efficient or enjoyable without our officials. University Recreation officials ensure proper regulation, fair play, and sportsmanship amongst Wolfpack participants. The expectations University Recreation upholds would be greatly compromised without the consistent work of our officials.

The abundant amount of sports offered to Wolfpack nation through University Recreation utilize officials to maintain balance. Whether it’s making sure fields and courts are in order for play or enforcing game rules, officials are vital to the flow of club and intramural sports.

Dustin Champion and Chris Jones, in particular, showcase the fundamental skills necessary to make competitive sports worthwhile for NC State students. The interviews below show insight into the great job Dustin and Chris do.

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University Recreation: What is your favorite thing about your job?

Dustin Champion: I love the competition. I love seeing athletes compete at the highest level. From intramural to high school to collegiate, seeing people have true passion for sport drives me. That passion inspires me to love my position.

UR: How long have you been an official?

DC: This is my fifth year officiating. I’ve been an official for three years at the high school level and two years at the collegiate level.

UR: What is the most challenging part of your job?

DC: Getting calls right. Making sure you’re getting the right calls at the right time is the key to basketball and all sports really. You don’t need any mess in your game that doesn’t need to be there.

UR: How has this position benefitted your professional world?

DC: It has helped me develop my leadership skills through finding the balance of working with people younger and older than me. My communication skills have grown through training new employees and learning from my leaders. I’ve learned over time when it is the right time to talk and this position has especially taught me to work hard. This can come in handy down the line when trying to excel in the professional world.

UR: What does being a official mean to you?

DC: Being an official means being a leader on the court. You make sure everything is fair for the competitors and keep the game flowing. A lot of people see us as the bad guys but we are really there to enforce the game and lead. If we have a game and no-one notices we were there, we’ve done our job.

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University Recreation: What is your favorite sport to officiate and why?

Chris Jones: Basketball is my favorite sport to officiate because the intensity from the players, the coaches, and the crowd just make the atmosphere so exciting to work in.

UR: What is the most valuable skill you have learned working as an official?

CJ: The most valuable skill I’ve learned as an official is leadership. Leadership in basketball involves how to manage conflict, making critical decisions, and confidence. This is a critical skill for everyone trying to impact their surroundings.

UR: How has this position benefitted your professional world?

CJ: In the professional world, so many people are intrigued by the life of an official. It gives you an interesting story to tell that is unique and entails a special skill set. In the most important job interview I ever had, the interviewer asked me to table everything I thought we’d talk about and she went straight to asking me about officiating. The position creates a respect that can be fruitful in the future.

UR: How long have you been an official?

CJ: I’m wrapping up my third season as an official, but have had the pleasure to advance to becoming one of the youngest officials at the division II level of the NCAA.

UR: What is the biggest lesson you’ve taken away from your job?

CJ: The biggest lesson I’ve taken away is to always give back knowledge. I’ve learned so much that’s helped me advance as a young official and the biggest thing I can do is turn to another official and pass along my knowledge so they can flourish as well.

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Having a love for the job is something officials must have in order to consistently perform. Officials often encounter slander and unfair criticism in relation to calls in games. A study conducted at Lamar University showcased the passion necessary to push through the negativity to better regulate competition.

This study used over 300 officials from various sports in order to gain knowledge on what drives them. Research proved that these officials are mainly inspired by their commitment to the fairness of a sport, he concept of officiating being seen as only a job was rare.

Valuing the impactful role an official has in a sport is instrumental to the success of our intramural sports. Through their work as officials, Dustin and Chris both fulfill their obligations as officials and represent University Recreation in the highest manner.

Think and DOminate,

Cherif