Most students at UTM know that we have a gym, the RAWC (Recreation, Athletics, Wellness Centre). UTM’s fitness centre houses state of the art features and amenities: a high-performance center (HPC) for strength conditioning programs, a three-lane 200 m running track, two multi-sport grass fields (North Field by the Instructional Building, and South Field behind the P8 parking lot), a 25 m, eight-lane pool, a fitness studio, a dance studio, and a large multiple purpose room that can be divided into two.
Students at other universities, like Western for example, have to pay a separate fee for access to their campus athletic facilities and programs. Most students at UTM know that the RAWC exists, having walked through it on their way from the parking lot. But most don’t know that they don’t have to pay an additional fee for the gym membership, or the numerous additional services that are free for members and students.
The RAWC offers a variety of athletic services and programs to its members. As a registered UTM student, you have access to most of these services for free, or at a membership discount. They offer several programs and certifications, of which you as a student get at discount.
The RAWC offers registered instruction classes, like self-defence, Wen-Do, hip hop and Latin dance classes, and martial arts like Aikido, Judo, and Tai-Chi. If you’re looking for certifications for work or school, or if you’re looking to take your career in fitness to the next level, you can take one of the RAWC’s certification programs. They have a UTM Personal Trainer Mentorship Program, First Aid and CPR certification courses, as well as the Canfitpro personal trainer specialist course and Canfitpro fitness instructor specialist course.
The RAWC has a ton of fitness and recreational activities, which are available on a drop-in basis, perfect for busy students with busy or unpredictable schedules. The RAWC also offers group fitness classes featuring dynamic fitness instructors. You can hop in on a cardio class, like Cardio Sculpt, Aqua Dance or the Barre Boot Camp. You can take a strength class, or one of their many mind and body classes like Pilates fit, yogalates, Tai-Chi and Yoga.
The RAWC also provides drop-in sports hours—no commitment, informal gym times where you can grab a couple friends and just play. The drop-in schedule is up on their website with various hours for drop-in basketball, volleyball, soccer, badminton, cricket and squash—all subject to change with upcoming events.
And if you don’t have a ball, or a racquet, or even a towel, there’s no need to stress because you can sign one out with your t-card for free! The RAWC also features women’s only hours, open recreational lanes in the pool, child and adult swimming lessons, Olympic weightlifting, and a locker rental service.
You can get personal training at the RAWC as well, but for a fee. You can pay for a few sessions of one-on-one personal training, or maybe a small group with you and a friend. They offer personal training for weight management, functional training, Olympic weightlifting, strength training, sports conditioning, and nutritional counselling. They also offer a few complimentary services, free services like fitness orientations, fitness consultations, fitness assessments, and fitness demos. Interested in some personal training? Go to the Trainers Welcome Desk at the RAWC, or Membership Services.
If none of the above interest you, you can try one of their Wellness Routes, guided walks free to members and the community that are programmed to engage you in activities that promote well-being. They’re health, wellness, or nature-themed walks through campus that are held almost weekly. Past routes include Seasonal Eating and Mindful Eating Habits, Exam Break De-Stress Walk, and Find Motivation and Set Your Goal.
UTM’s RAWC, like most schools and campuses, offer different levels of competitive sport. At the lowest level are drop-in sports, and at the highest are Varsity sports. In addition to its drop-in sport hours, UTM students can compete at three levels: Intramurals, Tri-Campus, and Varsity. Intramurals is the UTM campus recreational league, which offers Open and Coed Basketball, Open and Coed Indoor soccer, Outdoor Soccer, Coed Volleyball, Open Cricket, Open Outdoor Ultimate Frisbee, and Coed Dodgeball.
In addition to these leagues, the RAWC will occasionally host Intramural tournaments like Badminton, Table Tennis and, new this year, Innertube Water Basketball. You can join the fun for free, all you need to do is sign-up online at IMleagues with your utoronto email and register a team, or just yourself as a free-agent, in any of the leagues you’re interested in. This level of sport is perfect for students who a want a little more structure and competition, or for those that are trying something new for the first time.
The next highest level of competition above UTM Intramurals is the U of T Tri-Campus league. The Tri-Campus league is a higher level of intramural sport in which you represent your campus, in this case UTM. As a Tri-Campus athlete, you have a coach, one practice per week, and one game per week in which you compete against U of T’s other campuses (UTSC, and the two St. George teams, Black and Red). You can enter the competition by showing up at one of the tryouts or by emailing the coach of the team you want to be a part of. The Tri-Campus program is perfect for students that want a little more competition than UTM Intramurals but aren’t interested in making the large commitment to Varsity. And yes, this is also free.
The highest level of competition is UTM’s Varsity Eagle program which, unlike the Varsity Blues that represent the whole of U of T, competes in the OCAA (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association) and represents just UTM. The Varsity Eagles athletic program is one of the youngest in the OCAA, but it’s steadily becoming more competitive with representation at the provincial and national levels.
UTM athletes and coaches have received numerous awards and high recognition by the OCAA. Last year, UTM hosted its first Provincials tournament (Badminton) and they’re set to host their first Nationals as well in 2020. The UTM Varsity Eagle sports include Badminton, Cross Country, Women’s and Men’s Soccer, and Women’s and Men’s Basketball.
There’s something for everyone at the RAWC, and you only have to be a registered student.
Did we mention most of these are free?