SSRA courses take on new forms and topics

Tucker Grinnan, Sports Reporter

This semester of SSRA courses has adopted a number of structural changes. This temporary makeover has presented an opportunity to integrate the topics of intergroup dialogue, sports and social justice.

This includes a course titled “Sports, Social Justice and Facilitation.”

“There is so much going on in sports right now that is drawing people into wanting to have these conversations and use sports as a bridge between something people are really engaged in and want to talk about anyways in sport, and something that we know we need to talk about in social justice issues,” Coach Hein said.

However, he emphasized that although there is an abundance of news surrounding activism within sports, they still want to place equal focus on facilitating dialogue and social justice movements outside of sports.

“The topics of race and sport were so big this summer the Black Lives Matter movement being on the forefront of athletes as activists we could have spent the whole semester on that, but we chose to stay with our curriculum instead of getting into the hottest topics,” Coach Hein said.

In addition to developing new relevant courses, SSRA courses as a whole have adapted in order to survive while accommodating social distancing measures.

Tim McKenna, a junior math major, is currently taking the beginning golf SSRA course. He had been trying to get into the class for a while; so, when it was canceled in late July, he was disappointed. The class was shortly reinstated and now meets in person once a week. McKenna wasn’t sure what to expect from the class but has been pleasantly surprised.

“None of us had any idea what beginning golf would look like in the Zoom era,” McKenna said. “The class is definitely very structured and each day there is a very specific thing that we work on. We’re working with local semi-pro Mike Ciez, and so we have been able to get a lot of one-on-one advice due to it just being eight of us.”

Maya Virshup, a senior biology major, is currently taking the soccer SSRA. The class meets twice a week over Zoom, during which they practice skills such as footwork and ball handling. She initially signed up for the course with her intramural soccer team in mind but has stuck with it for other reasons.

“I always wanted to take the SSRA to gain some skills so I could shine when I got on the field later,” Virshup said. “Even though there are no IM seasons in the foreseeable future, I just figured it will still make me better later in life.”