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Winter sports and activities: Breaking the ice

By James Ratcliff | Pulse Staff Reporter

A Palo Alto student practices shooting the basketball in the gym. Photo taken by James Ratcliff.

As the temperatures begin to drop, the Office of Student Engagement and Retention is working to encourage intramural activities among the student body.

“I make sure that the college kids have activities for them throughout the day,” said Gabriel Lopez, intramural specialist. “We have activities, like basketball and horseshoes, for them to be engaged and stay active. We have an open gym. When it’s open, it’s for all Palo Alto College students. All they need is their Banner ID and enough people to play. Then, we could do dodge ball or just shoot the basketball.”

With intramural sports always in season, students may stay physically active, even in the winter.

“Since it is getting colder, our activities are inside the Gym,” said Lopez.

Ana Bustamante, assistant professor of Kinesiology, said, “You want to find balance. If you don’t like the cold, see what you can do inside.”

Lopez and Bustamante agree that making healthy decisions and participating in different physical activities are paramount to student health and fitness at Palo Alto College.

In addition to intramural activities, Lopez said that he is involved with the Palo Alto College Palominos Women’s Volleyball and Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams. In their first four games of the season, the men’s basketball team has a record of 0-4, the women’s basketball team has a record of 2-2 and the women’s volleyball team has a record of 1-3.

According to Lopez, the intercollegiate sports season at Palo Alto College lasts through the Fall semester and into April of the Spring semester. The Palominos compete alongside other two-year colleges in Texas and the University of the Incarnate Word in the Texas Collegiate Club Sports League.

“One of the best benefits is other colleges get to see our athletes,” said Lopez. “By showcasing their skills, other colleges can take a liking to their skills and ask them to come to their 4-year college under scholarship.”

Clarissa Obregon, a sophomore History major, plays on the Palominos Women’s Basketball and Volleyball teams. She plays guard in basketball and is a utility player in volleyball. As an important player in both sports, Obregon said that being able to multitask on and off the court helps her to focus on the task at hand and prevents her from boredom.

“I’m pretty good at keeping busy,” said Obregon. “It keeps me out of trouble.”

Obregon said that being a student-athlete has an influence on which people she spends her spare time with.

“I just hang out with all the people I play with,” said Obregon. “That’s my only social life.”

On the flipside, Obregon said that being able to communicate with her teammates by being around them often does have a positive impact on and off the court.

“It helps out on the court,” said Obregon. “You have to communicate with the players.”

Obregon said that she will graduate from Palo Alto College in Spring 2013. She plans to continue her studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and she hopes to become a History teacher.

For more information on sports and intramurals, visit the Office of Student Engagement and Retention, located at the Student Center, Room 124, or call (210) 486-3125.