About Intramurals

What Are Intramurals?  

“Intramurals are when students are provided with various purposeful opportunities to engage in fun, inclusive, and meaningful physical activities with other students at their school and outside of instructional time.” (Ophea 2023)   

A quality intramural program provides a unique opportunity for school-wide involvement of numerous students. A range of approaches are considered when designing an intramural program to offer the greatest opportunity possible for every student based on time available, student interest and needs, and meaningful participation for everyone. Intramural organizers adopt a collaborative leadership approach with students, school staff, and community partners. Shared planning and decision making is leveraged to promote physically and emotionally safer environments for participation.  

Most importantly, intramurals are student-centered. By engaging students throughout the process, from planning to facilitating activities, intramural organizers can promote student voice and choice, and encourage meaningful connections with peers. Quality intramural programs provide activities based on student input, provide multiple entry points to increase student engagement and participation, and focus on inclusive, fun events or activities that maximize physical activity participation for every student.   

Why Are Intramurals Important?

Schools play a critical role in providing opportunities for students to participate in physical activity both within and outside of instructional time. "Schools are uniquely positioned to positively influence levels of physical activity as they reach the vast majority of children and youth."1 

Every child has the right to play.2 Participation in intramurals helps students further develop their social skills, co-operation, teamwork, physical literacy, and overall health. They provide additional opportunities to enhance the connectedness students feel to each other, and the broader school community. Most importantly, intramurals provide much-needed opportunities for students who do not have the opportunity to participate in interschool sports, or organized sport and physical activity opportunities within the community. 

ParticipACTION (2020). The Role of the Family in the Physical Activity, Sedentary and Sleep Behaviours of Children and Youth. The 2020 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. P. 103. Retrieved from: https://participaction.cdn.prismic.io/participaction/f6854240-ef7c-448c-ae5c-5634c41a0170_2020_Report_Card_Children_and_Youth_Full_Report.pdf  

United Nations Human Rights (1989). Conventions on the Rights of the Child. Retreived from: https://www.ohchr.org/en/instruments-mechanisms/instruments/convention-rights-child#:~:text=Article%2031,-1.&text=States%20Parties%20recognize%20the%20right,cultural%20life%20and%20the%20arts.