Dodgeball tournament to bring fun-filled action


The Student Veterans of America is hosting its first dodgeball tournament to increase community support and collaboration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. | Courtesy of Taja Amiji

Depending on your childhood memories, dodgeball could have been either fun — if you had great aim — or plain torturous if you became the target.

In any case, Cougars who want to revisit this traditional pastime can show off their skills at the Student Veterans of America’s first dodgeball tournament, filled with free refreshments and music as participants get the opportunity to meet veteran students’ light side.

The SVA games will consist of groups of eight members during Saturday’s 11 a.m. event on the first floor of the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

Event coordinator and geology junior Mike Ferguson said the event is a great benefit for the organization, which started in January, to gain recognition.

“We want to show the University that we are here for the students, the veterans and for the campus in general,” Ferguson said. “SVA came up with this free event to get ourselves known and see where we go from there.”

Ferguson noted that this event could give members time to warm up for the games.

“We just want people to have a good time, come and have fun, throw balls at each other,” Ferguson said. “We have to brush up a bit ourselves on the sport, but it’s exciting.”

For members, SVA is more than just an organization — it’s a comradeship.

“Our organization is about having an ally, having someone there,” said Khaliah Johnson liberal studies senior and SVA treasurer. “Many veterans come to campus not knowing how to be social, and we provide support, whether personally, networking or academic support.”

She hopes this integrating event will decrease the negative stigma that surrounds the veteran community and make other organizations more willing to work with SVA.

“It’s professional, academic and entertainment all in one event,” Johnson said.

The organization has been actively promoting the event for weeks, hoping for a successful amount of players to join the friendly competition, according to petroleum engineering senior and SVA Secretary Fontaine Wilson.

“We have a strong veteran community ready to branch out and collaborate with other organizations in the future, and this event is a great way to socialize and relieve some stress together through dodgeball,” Wilson said.

The competitors will be awarded with T-shirts, prizes and companionship that made food and nutrition junior Natalie Avina, a member of the organization, one not to duck out of this.

“It’s dodgeball, so it’s pure active socializing, and when you’re competitive, you get to see different sides of people, so that is going to be a lot of fun,” Avina said. “They’ll get to see our light side and get to see we are regular people.”

And she makes a legitimate theory on how efficiently it would be for Cougars to spend some time and join in on the fun this weekend morning.

“What else would they have to do on a Saturday morning?” Avina said. “They can come out with their friends, be active, and then later that night when they go out drinking, they can feel compensated because they would have burned all those calories that morning — plus, meeting new people is a bonus.”

SVA will host Operation Dodgeball from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Recreation Center.

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