Last fall, UTM began competing within the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association, which is recognized as a leader in intercollegiate athletics in Ontario. UTM was sworn in as its 30th member, giving students the opportunity to become recognized as athletes.

The Medium spoke to UTM Athletics about the past season and plans for the new one.

Director of UTM Athletics Ken Duncliffe made a statement regarding the inaugural season, seeming happy with last year’s outcome and hopeful for its future.

“The first year of UTM’S participation in OCAA varsity sport exceeded our expectations. Student athletes proudly represented UTM in the games of badminton, cross country, and indoor soccer,” he said.

In 2014/15, UTM’s Varsity Eagles teams competed in badminton, cross country, and men’s and women’s indoor soccer.

“Men’s indoor soccer captured the Sheridan College Invitational Tournament championship while women’s indoor soccer made it to the semifinals in the same tournament. UTM cross country athlete Lauren Brewster qualified for the National Championship by placing in the top 25 in the province,” says Jack Krist, UTM program coordinator.

This year, UTM is adding men’s and women’s outdoor soccer programs. Looking to join the bunch in 2017/18 are men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball programs.

For students looking for an athletic edge beyond what is offered with UTM’s intramural programs, participating on a Varsity Eagles team offers students that opportunity, but Duncliffe warned they should be wary of heftier responsibilities and time commitments.

“This new level of sport at UTM, in addition to existing opportunities with the Varsity Blues and all of the other levels of competitive and recreational sport, offer the new UTM student the choice of participating at a level that meets their individual needs. Each level has different time and commitment requirements, with the varsity sports being the most demanding,” says Duncliffe.

Even though the men’s and women’s varsity soccer teams have wrapped up their tryout dates, students still have the ability to try out for the varsity badminton team, coached by Lam Trinh, and cross country team, coached by Adam Hassan.

Badminton is holding its information session on September 15 at 7 p.m. with tryouts occurring the following week. Cross country has three more tryout dates happening in the next two weeks.

Students who are interested in participating in a varsity program at UTM but are not enrolled in full-time studies or did not make a varsity team are encouraged to join a development league team. Men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s volleyball, indoor soccer, outdoor soccer, and basketball will each take part in a four-team league consisting of UTM, UTSC, and two St. George teams.

Students wanting to find out more about each level should contact the program staff at the RAWC.