University offers several activities for students to “catch” a break

By Taylor Sims

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., (UTC/The Loop) – Campus recreation allows students, as well as faculty and staff, the opportunity for fun competition, meeting new people, and staying in shape.

The university’s Club Sports program currently offers 21 different sports and activities. Just a few of these include baseball, fencing, ladies lacrosse, and paintball.

The Club Sports website states that its goal is to “produce ‘student-lead, student-run’ organizations that enhance participants teamwork and leadership abilities while also maintaining a safe, fun, and friendly environment for all.”

A few of the Intramural Sports at UTC include horseshoes, Frisbee golf, and racquetball. These activities are open to any student, faculty, or staff member as long as they have a valid Mocs card.

Senior Stephen Mitchell participates in an intramural co-ed basketball team every year.

“I had fun with intramurals because I got to play my favorite sports after high school,” said Mitchell. “I got to hangout with my friends and meet new people as well as stay in shape, be healthy, be active, and relax my mind instead of studying all night long.”

Junior Gaby Dixon is one of the co-captains the ladies lacrosse club team. She said that while she enjoys playing the sport, organization and funding are difficult.

“It’s hard to get everyone in the same place at the same time,” said Dixon. “Plus it’s hard for us to get good practice schedules because there are so many club teams.”

Club and intramural sports provide students with much needed breaks from the everyday stresses of class and study time.

The new ARC, including the brand new aquatic center, along with other facilities such as intramural fields, Maclellan gym, and the racquet center are used for the several sports and activities offered.

Students who wish to get involved in club or intramural sports can stop by the Club Sports/Intramurals offices or visit the university website.

Click here to hear about intramural and club sports at UTC


Famous country music alley in Nashville gets facelift

By Taylor Sims

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) — Country music’s most famous alley — a gritty monument to the earthy sounds all around it — is getting a facelift.

The block-long alley is between the historic Ryman Auditorium and Nashville’s raucous honky-tonks, where well-fortified patrons are urged to “holler and swaller.”

Now it’s a place often littered with gray trash cans and cardboard boxes piled atop each other. Grand Ole Opry performers used to walk out the Opry’s side door, cross the alley and slip in the back door at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Nashville’s legendary honky -tonk.

“It’s the most famous 37 steps in that alley,” says Jim “The Governor” Hill, Tootsie’s general manager. “Tootsie’s was the ‘green room’ for the Ryman.”

The alley work, which will cost the city an estimated $300,000, is expected to take up to six months.

“The alley is a Nashville treasure,” said Veronica Frazier with the Metro Public Works Department. “You can walk in the footsteps where Hank (Williams) did.”

A local group has led the makeover effort, which will include work on storm and sanitary sewers, electrical conduits and refinishing the surface.

“We want to celebrate the historical, cultural feel of the alley,” said Shawn Henry, an attorney who is chairman of the makeover group. “We’re mindful to upgrade it but want it to stay vibrant.”

The 119-year-old Ryman was home to the Opry from 1943 to 1974, when it moved to a new location east of downtown. Opry shows are still performed at the Ryman during the winter.

Today, a dozen or so other honky-tonks have joined Tootsie’s on that side of the alley, continuing Nashville’s music vibe with blazing fiddles, country weepers and frosty beer.

Hill said the rear of his honky-tonk is still popular because of the alley and what’s nearby.

“A lot of people sit at the back patio and just look at the Ryman.”

Bill Stasyszen of Shelbyville, Ky., who was strolling down the alley with his wife before ducking into one of the bars for some two-steppin,’ was delighted to hear the alley is getting spruced up.

“Well, it needs it,” he said. “I hope they don’t take the charm away.”


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.