By Daniel Bestul, Jordon Lawrenz, Greg Bintz & Zach Glander
The University Recreation (UREC) Intramurals at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay has provided students the ability to play hard, have fun and lead for all. They promote well-being in the UW-Green Bay community and provide an atmosphere where all are welcome, no matter the competitive level.
Basketball, volleyball, tennis, flag football, and soccer are just a handful of the sports UWGB students can participate in. Students gain friendships and have a friendly rivalry. There are a lot of people who work at UREC, whether it’s full-time staff or part-time workers (mostly students), who make UREC flow smoothly. Kate Wagner, a lead assistant, has been working with UREC since she began attending UWGB.
“I started at intramurals as a first-semester freshman as an official and mainly worked flag football, basketball, and volleyball,” Wagner said. “The lead supervisor at the time, Calli Christiansen, is a family friend and introduced me to the position. She said it would be my favorite part of Green Bay, and she was right.”
Wagner is a sophomore studying Human Biology with an emphasis in Health Science. She has always found herself being in some sort of lead in part of intramurals at UWGB UREC.
“I have always been a very organized and meticulous individual, so the idea of being in a position to put those qualities to use was very appealing to me. When I became a supervisor, I thought that was the highest I would want to climb; however, after being in the position for a couple of weeks, I had so many ideas and suggestions that I wanted to implement. When the position became available, I saw it as an opportunity to put my plans into action and help revive the program into more than it ever was before.”
As a lead supervisor, Wagner is in charge of a lot more than just watching over the games. She is in charge of documentation as well as communicating with, delegating, and training my staff. She also aims to cultivate life skills for each of her employees. After hiring 14 new students this year, her staff currently consists of 23 officials and 4 supervisors.
Jeff Willems, the Recreation Coordinator of Intramurals Pool and Club Sports enjoys every part of having Wagner as part of his staff.
“She has energy and drive. She is a hard worker, has great organizational skills and has excellent communication skills. She has super great leadership qualities and personality. I know we are going to have fun! She supports and makes both our officials and participants better through the game and the life lessons it can help us learn. I really enjoy her outgoing, optimistic and energetic attitude,” Willems said.
Molly Grabarec, a senior at UWGB, who is an Intramural Supervisor for UREC, said since Wagner has taken the role has improved the program a lot.
“Since Kate has stepped into her role, she has drastically influenced the success of our program by focusing more on marketing. She’s increased our employment by hiring 14 employees this semester and has made sure that we update our equipment. She has also created more events for students to enjoy. Kate has really good people skills, and she is very approachable. While working in intramurals, we all experience a lot of difficult situations, whether that’s treating injuries, solving employee misconduct, and (most often) handling player misconduct. These situations can really take a toll on you, and Kate is a great person to come to vent or get advice from. I also enjoy that she is very assertive with what she expects from her employees,” Grabarec said.
Wagner can see herself as officiating youth tournaments around her hometown, whether it be AAU, local tournaments, or NWGBL/NWBBL. Wagner wants to stay involved in basketball, which she loves a lot. She has certainly faced a lot of uncertainty coming into her role of being a lead supervisor, such as marketing, events, and other processes, but her determination to keep the program afloat and thriving is something she takes pride in.
“My dedication to the program as well as the dedication of the staff, these challenges are now in the rearview as we are moving onto bigger and better things,” Wagner said.