The athletic program is important at any college, but is particularly important at Hampden-Sydney because of the overwhelming interest of our students in athletics; approximately 25% of the student body participates in intercollegiate athletics and over 70% in the intramural program. Athletics, quite simply, is vital to the wholeness of the College. Essentially, the program can be divided into several components: intramurals, intercollegiate athletics, lifetime sports, physical fitness, and recreational programs.
As indicated, intramurals constitutes an important element within the athletic program, especially given the large percentage of students who actively participate at this level.
A lifetime sports and recreational program gives students an opportunity to keep physically fit while learning a new athletic skill that can be beneficial later in life.
Intercollegiate athletics plays a significant role at this college, not only because it provides an important outlet for many students, but also because such competition is good for participants. The varsity intercollegiate program can be and is a true character-building experience. One learns from winning, one learns from losing, and one learns from playing the game. One learns something about coping with pressure, commitment, loyalty, self-discipline, sacrifice, and pain--what it takes as well as what it means to compete. When one considers that 50% of all incoming freshmen intend to participate in the intercollegiate programs, then one realizes what athletics means to the College. Many of the best students at Hampden-Sydney are also varsity athletes, young men who come to this college in part to engage in intercollegiate athletics.