August 31 was the start of orientation for the new academic year, and it happened with a bang. Frosh week began with a pep rally to introduce new students to the athletic side of UTM at the Recreation and Wellness Centre.

The pep rally started off with a basketball game, where the UTM men’s basketball team played against UTM’s alumni basketball team; it was a friendly contest that saw UTM Eagle spirit soar at its highest.

The start of a new school year also came with the new University of Toronto Mississauga Athletic Council. This year’s UTMAC team consists of nine individuals whose collective goal is to encourage students to get involved with sports programs and add a social aspect to athletics with events like Health Week, pub nights, and the annual Athletic Banquet hosted at the end of the year.

UTMAC’s director of health and wellness, Andrew Williams, says the main purpose of UTMAC is to highlight the importance of physical activity and to emphasize inclusivity by welcoming all students regardless of their athletic experience or skills.

“We want to ensure that students are emotionally, physically, and mentally balanced after a long day of studying,” Williams says.

What inspired this way of thinking is that he met former 15-year NBA veteran and Toronto Raptor Doug Christie, who is head athletic trainer and owner of the athletic facility TERNION. In their conversations, they discussed the importance of establishing a connection between mind, body, and sport.

“I want to incorporate all I’ve learned from Doug and Sly into UTMAC’s programs and boot camps,” Williams says. “This connection is not geared solely for athletes but provides a new, refreshing outlook on life to anyone willing to join.”

UTMAC also shared its plans to increase school spirit by introducing its first promotional team, “Planet RAWC”, whose purpose is to create awareness and increase hype for all events, especially games.

Encouraging the theme of inclusivity, “the promo team will be the bridge between UTMAC and the students on our campus,” says UTMAC director of public relations and communications Mustapha Hashi.

UTMAC president Bilal Raifai says that in addition to the promotional team, UTMAC is “introducing a bunch of new events that have not been done in the past, such as UTMAC boot camps and free outdoor yoga classes”.

The new UTMAC team encourages students to stay informed by following them on Twitter at @MyUTMAC, on Instagram at UTMACEAGLES, or finding them on their University of Toronto Athletic Council Facebook page.