Program coordinator promotes benefits of intramurals

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Brandon Szachta started his first year with USI as the new program coordinator for intramural and club sports. He joined the staff June 1st and since then has been working with the Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center to prepare for the intramural and club sport seasons. The Shield sat down with Szachta to talk about his transition into the position and any plans he has for the year.

The Shield: What were you working as before you applied for the position in the RFWC?

Szachta: I was a graduate assistant of recreation and student athletics at Lawrence Technological University. It’s a small school of about 4,000 students. I ran our intramural program and I was the game-day operation coordinator for all our athletic events.

The Shield: Did you earn your undergraduate degree there as well?

Szachta: I got my masters of business administration there. I worked for the university and they helped pay for my masters of business administration. I did my undergrad at Central Michigan University where I double majored in finance and sport management.

The Shield: Are you from anywhere around either of those universities?

Szachta: I’m from Clinton Township Michigan which is about 20 minutes north of Detroit.

The Shield: Did you know what you wanted to do when you started to look for colleges?

Szachta: No I really honestly didn’t know what I wanted to get into. I think it was probably around my sophomore year that I realized I wanted to work in sports. I played sports growing up, I’m a huge sports fan. I’m a Detroit sports nut, it’s actually probably more of an addiction. It’s probably not healthy.

I didn’t know what avenue I wanted to work in. A buddy asked me to apply to be an official. I never realized that campus recreation was something you could work in. The next year I applied to be an intramural supervisor. My boss there told me I should look as a career in campus recreation. The rest is kind of history.

The Shield: Did you play intramurals in college?

Szachta: I was in a fraternity and we played every league. We were pretty competitive.

The Shield: Could you imagine a college career where you didn’t participate in intramural sports?

Szachta: Probably not. What I love about intramurals is there are so many stressful situations in college, you have grades, exams, papers, boyfriend, girlfriend problems. The best part about intramurals is it’s kind of just an hour or a couple hours where you can have fun, be active. Have fun, that’s the biggest thing. That’s when you talk to students when they get there and they say ‘oh I have to go back and write a paper’ but they’re out there for an hour just having fun, relaxing and all that good stuff.

The Shield: Was there anything you had in mind you wanted to start when you first got here?

Szachta: Probably not at the beginning. I knew it was a well-run program, that’s part of what attracted me to it in the first place. So I have done different things at my previous universities that I would like to implement once I learned the system. I’ve implemented some things with the intramural officials, trying to improve the system.