Regarding athletics, UVA is an NCAA division one school part of the ACC with 25 varsity sports. As far as athletics go, this past year UVA sports teams finished with some incredible records across the board, and Cavaliers claimed 6 ACC titles this past year. All students have completely free access (with the use of their student ID card) to any single athletic event, so as a student you’ll never find yourself paying to support your friends and classmates. The school spirit at any of our athletic events is tremendous; for football games, you’ll see students dressing up; at soccer and lacrosse games, you’ll see students painting themselves orange and blue; and for basketball games students will sport their orange ‘Hoo Crew t-shirts. Athletics are a huge aspect of the university and definitely serve as a great activity for students to take a break from their rigorous academics and hang out with their friends and have a good time losing their voice as they cheer on their favorite players!
We have three tiers of athletics here at UVA each which students can participate in. Now obviously because UVA is a division one school, the competition is quite intense and playing a varsity sport at this level would be extremely competitive and a huge time commitment. However, a lot of students opt to participate at the club level, which is the tier just below varsity. I would equate the club level team to being like your high school varsity team – yeah, that sounds right. We have 55 club teams at UVA ranging anywhere from competitive ballroom dance, to lacrosse and basketball. Students participating in activities at the club level can expect anywhere between 2-3 practices weekly, and can expect to travel up and down the east coast on select weekends in both the fall and spring semester to compete against other club level teams and various colleges.
I participated in Club Swim my entire first year. It was such a great experience because coming into the university, I knew absolutely no one at UVA. By instantly becoming involved with a group within my first weeks here, it made my transition from high school to college so much more easy and smooth.
The tier just below club level is called intramural, and personally, I think the intramural level is the most fun because it is really not competitive at all. It’s roughly 80% of UVA students who participate in an intramural activity at least one season throughout their four years here. Our intramural activities range anywhere from inner tube water polo played at our Aquatic and Fitness Center, to flag football which is played down at the university’s park over by the grad schools. For these various intramural activities, students really just get together with their friends (members of their extracurricular activities/organization, dormmates, etc.) and have a good time! Every semester since my first year I have played intramural basketball on both a Co-ed team, as well as an independent team (an all girls team). By instantly becoming a participant in any sort of extracurricular activity or any tier of sports really is a great way to meet other students who are interested in similar activities, not to mention, it’s so much fun to have something like an athletic event to look forward to on a weekly basis!