A group of students practicing martial arts.


Mention college athletics and most folks immediately envision NCAA championships. And we certainly have those at NYU, with nearly 500 students competing in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports each year and recent national championships in wrestling, swimming, and women’s golf. But here, athletics go far beyond the varsity level. In fact, athletics at NYU are for everyone.

Every year, NYU students can take thousands of recreation classes, participate in hundreds of intramural competitions, and join 25 intercollegiate club teams. For free. Simply put, if you’re considering getting involved in physical activity at NYU—or even just thinking about considering it—there are legions of opportunities available to you. “You’ll see first-year students who are studying math playing alongside PhD students who are in their residencies,” says Devin Roban, assistant athletic director for intramurals, club sports and recreation. “Providing a fun, healthy outlet for the entire NYU community to connect through sports is what we do best.”

Students playing soccer.
The Lowdown on Intramurals

Every year, roughly 6,500 NYU students compete against one another in more than 20 intramural leagues and events. Intramural athletics range from soccer, basketball, and badminton to e-gaming, box cricket, and bowling. While competitions and games are commonly held once a week, some sports play more often. There could be practices as well. But most intramural teams require a commitment of just a few hours a week.

Students in a weight-lifting class.
The Scoop on Recreation Classes

Recreation classes, which are held across NYU’s fitness facilities—the Palladium Athletic Facility, 404 Fitness, and the Brooklyn Athletic Facility—include various types of dance, swimming, and yoga as well as weightlifting, spin, and Zumba. Many classes are offered both in person and virtually, and they couldn’t be easier to attend. Just check the schedule and show up or log on at the appropriate time.

The 411 on Club Sports

Club sports at NYU take athletics up one more notch, with students competing at the intercollegiate level against teams from other colleges and universities. The more than two dozen club options, including figure skating, lacrosse, and ultimate Frisbee, often require a bit more of a commitment than intramurals and recreation classes do. Club teams frequently practice with coaches and instructors a few times a week. Weekends are reserved for competitions, either at home or on away trips to other schools.

Three students using stationary bikes in the gym.
Find Your Fit. Find Your Community.

“I absolutely fell in love,” says Madi Richardson, a junior who serves as an instructor for Intra-Fit. As an intramural league, Intra-Fit teaches participants good workout habits and techniques through weightlifting, cardio, plyometrics, and more. She shares that she felt intimidated by the gym during her first year at NYU but wanted to stay in shape following foot surgery. “Intra-Fit was instrumental in helping me, especially as a woman, find my place in the gym,” Madi asserts. “I love how everyone brings a great vibe and is so supportive.”

And Roban agrees. It’s no secret that athletics offer physical, mental, and emotional benefits. But he feels the community-based benefits are athletics’ largest boon at NYU. “Whether you do it through rec classes, intramurals, or club sports, it’s about finding your fit by asking yourself how you want to de-stress and what community you want to be part of,” he says. “We provide so many options for everyone to explore what they want to do and just get moving.”

Huddle Up!

Learn even more about athletics at NYU by checking out NYU Campus Recreation’s podcast, Everyone, Huddle Up!, which Madi cohosts.

You can access the podcast here or find it wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Since joining NYU’s University Relations and Public Affairs Office of Marketing Communications, Nathan has been integral in helping the university strengthen its brand and share its value with the world. He enjoys uncovering and sharing the stories that hit audiences on a deeper level and guiding partners across the university toward more engaging and informative brand and storytelling experiences. Nathan has also worked as a teacher and academic counselor. He earned a BA in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.