AIA to host cornhole tournament

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SVSU’s Athletes in Action (AIA), a Christian athlete Bible study fellowship, will host an open invite cornhole tournament in the Hamilton Gymnasium on Sunday, April 22, at 7 p.m.

After toying with the idea for several months, leadership team members decided to go through with the opportunity to increase awareness of their organization and create a chance for athletes to enjoy themselves as the stresses of exams approach.

“I formed a plan during last semester and then kind of thought about it over this semester and talked about it with (other members of the leadership team), and now we’re putting it into action,” said Z Westley, a member of AIA’s leadership team.

Westley said the idea originally came from a project in his public relations class, taught by Director of Career Services Mike Major.

“I tried to think of something that was attainable for me here at SVSU,” he said. “That’s basically what the PR plan was, to form a plan for your organization through public relations. So, I thought, ‘What better way than to actually put something into motion in an organization that I’m in?’”

Alexandra Davis, another member of AIA’s leadership team, said the group wanted to provide athletes with an opportunity to make more friends within the department.

“We just wanted to do a little bit more for the athletes as a whole,” she said. “We wanted to provide something that not only got our organization as Athletes in Action out, but also provide something for all the athletes to take part in together.”

Once the group committed to hosting the tournament, the leadership team began meeting an hour before AIA’s regularly scheduled meetings to begin planning. Much of the planning was completed before AIA finalized that they would be hosting the event.

While AIA is a Christian group, the tournament will not include a Bible study component, as the group simply wants students to participate and enjoy themselves regardless of their religious backgrounds.

“It’s moreso just to get people to know that AIA is a thing,” Westley said. “That’s why there’s not going to be any Bible study. Athletes are busy, and we don’t have a lot of events like this, and I know cornhole is a lot of fun and competition is a lot of fun, so why not put them all into action and let people have some fun?”

For this year’s event, most of the communication has been with student-athletes around campus. However, anyone is invited to participate in the tournament, and AIA plans to further open up the event in future years.

To sign up for the tournament, players will need to find a partner for two-person teams and e-mail aia.svsu@gmail.com their first and last names by April 19. The number of teams that sign up will determine whether the tournament is conducted in a single- or double-elimination format.

Further updates on tournament details will be given on the organization’s Twitter page, @AIASVSU.

“I think it’s going to be a really cool way to get our name out there and also bring everyone together and let them know that even if they’re not of the same religious beliefs or background as our organization, it’s still a good way to have community and fellowship,” Davis said.

There will be pizza, refreshments, music and a gift card for each player on the first- through third-place winning teams.

“You’ll get there, and we’ll have a bunch of boards set up in the gym,” Westley said. “We’ll try and get it done pretty quickly; we know people don’t have a ton of time on their Sundays and exams will be coming up, so we’ll try and get you in and get you out but have some fun at the same time.”

AIA hopes to continue to host events like this in the future, along with participating in more community service opportunities.
The organization meets Sunday nights at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge.

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