(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Laughter, music and several games of pool filled Texas State Technical College’s Wellness and Recreation Center in Sweetwater this month.
Joni Coons, intramural programs coordinator, lined her calendar with activities for students who live on campus. It all started with a spirited pool tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
“We have been looking forward to this tournament for a long time,” said Joshua Harrison, a Welding Technology student from Ballinger. “We are excited to be able to come here and do different activities, and this is just the start.”
Coons has a laser tag event scheduled in March and is also planning basketball tournaments, dodgeball, electronic gaming events and ax throwing later in the semester.
“It is so good to see the kids come in here and have some fun,” Coons said. “We are working to bring more activities so they can unwind after class.”
Having the pool tournament was fun for the nearly 20 participants. Coons provided snacks for everyone and prizes for the top three finishers.
“A little friendly competition is fun,” she said. “I could tell everyone was excited when I saw them walk in. It was a really fun night.”
Rey Meza, a Wind Energy Technology student from Del Rio, said he and his classmates like to visit the Wellness and Recreation Center after class. Participating in the evening pool tournament was something he said everyone had looked forward to since it was announced.
“We wanted to make this a friendly event so everyone would have a good time,” he said. “(Coons) wants us to have fun, and she works hard to make sure we have a nice facility to do things.”
James Chung, a Wind Energy Technology student from Boston, served as the tournament official by keeping up with the scores. As a resident assistant, he was happy to see his friends enjoying themselves.
“It is good to see everyone here having fun and relaxing,” he said. “It is good to take time away from schoolwork. We get to meet people from the different programs and learn more about them.”
Chung also helped come up with different activities.
“We played dodgeball one time outside, but having it in the gym will be more fun,” he said. “A lot of us wanted to do the gaming tournament. I think we are going to do some type of shooting game to see who wins.”
Isaias Lopez, an Automotive Technology student from Caldwell, agreed with Chung about on-campus activities.
“This is a great escape for all of us to get away from the hard work we put in during class,” he said. “I am excited to see what else we have coming up. There are some fun activities scheduled.”
Hugo Martinez, an Electromechanical Technology student from Mason, was one of the first competitors in the tournament. He enjoyed the time he was able to spend with the other students.
“This is something that will keep us busy while taking our minds off school for a little while,” he said.
Physical activities were not the only thing Coons planned for students. On Valentine’s Day, she asked students to sign a card for their mothers and drop it in the mailbox.
“I wanted them to remember their moms on Valentine’s Day,” she said. “It was a small gesture to say thank you, and I know that their moms will keep that little card forever.”
The Wellness and Recreation Center is currently open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For public membership fees, call Coons at 325-235-7418.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.