For the Lavelle household, competitive sports are a part of the family. In the summer of 1990, Dr. Jerome Lavelle, Associate Dean of Engineering, met his future wife, Christine, playing Intramural Sports Softball on Miller Fields. The couple’s love for fitness and wellness has influenced their three daughters, who are all active members of University Recreation.
Team Lavelle made UREC history by being one of the first family teams in the Intramural Sports league. Their three daughters, Gabi, Miriam and Veronica all have experience playing softball, making Team Lavelle a formidable opponent in the Wiffleball Tournament. Despite the family’s competitive background with the sport, Dr. Lavelle insisted that he plays for, “fun and fellowship, to be with family and friends, meet new people, and enjoy each other’s’ company.” This comment did elicit a few smirks and eye rolls from his daughters, who believe him to be the most competitive of the team.
The team warmed up by passing around the ball, and were eager to begin their match. Throughout the match, the family’s close bond was evident through their constant encouragement towards one another. They displayed excellent sportsmanship through their positive attitude and friendliness towards the opposing teams. It was obvious this was not the families first time participating in a University Recreation event.
The Lavelle family participates in group fitness classes, such as Cycle and Circuits and HIIT. They also take advantage of the aquatic center, swimming together or aqua jogging. Gabi, Miriam and Veronica are taking a badminton class together through the Department of Health and Exercise Studies.
Dr. Lavelle is a strong believer that exercising as a family unit benefits the entire household, by saying, ”I have always believed that prioritizing fitness and exercise is part of a healthy life strategy. And my wife and I are lifelong advocates. Naturally, we brought our family up with this perspective, and doing things together promotes those value and strengthens the family. It’s also easier to not lose momentum on exercise and healthy living when you have partners. It gets us together, sharing our lives and building each other up with positive values.”
Team Lavelle sets an excellent standard for all Intramural Sports teams, and while they may be one of the first family teams, hopefully they won’t be the last.