For a first-year student, the transition into university life can be stressful. Unfortunately, gym class is not available in university, making the “freshman 15” a very real possibility for students who forget about physical activity after spending 12 hours with their faces stuck in a textbook. To counteract this, the RAWC encourages students to get involved in one of the many leagues on campus, where players of all different skill levels can engage in friendly and fun competition. There are leagues for a variety of sports, which ought to pique the interest of any amateur athlete.
One such league is the UTM Campus Rec Intramurals. These intramural games are played once a week and consist of both recreational leagues and tournaments. The duration of the recreational leagues is, on average, 6‒8 weeks, while the tournaments generally last a day. During the 2012/13 school year, the RAWC listed a record-breaking 142 teams to participate in 21 separate leagues. The teams in this league are formed outside of the RAWC, and must sign up on their own. There must be a minimum of four teams in a league. Any students looking for a team to play on can be added to the free agent waiting list by visiting the RAWC’s Program Office.
For those who want to compete not only on UTM soil but also against our rivals downtown and Scarborough campuses, the RAWC offers access to U of T intramurals, in which teams compete against various colleges and faculties across the university. The sports available to students include basketball, ice hockey, soccer, field hockey, flag football, volleyball, rugby, and ultimate Frisbee. Though tryouts for these sports have already taken place, those who were unable to attend can try out for the winter session at the beginning of the term. The tri-campus intramurals are designed to give students a feel for competitive sport that is less intense than varsity, but is still well supported by adoring fans.
“Playing intramurals provided me with the perfect compromise,” says Kyle Kuczynski, a fourth-year history and political science major and centreman for the men’s tri-campus hockey team.“I play hockey a couple times a week for fun and I still get to go to school. There’s no coach freaking out at you for messing up a play, and no strenuous training. It allows you to put school first and play just for fun.”
Kuczynski also believes getting involved with intramurals is a great way to form bonds for those new to university. “I made friends with almost everyone on the team and it created a hockey community at UTM where we all had the same personality and athletic interests,” he says. “You meet a ton of people with the same athletic interests as you. It keeps you active. Tuition pays for intramurals and it would be a complete waste of a student’s money to not play!”
Those looking for that competitive edge will find that the Varsity Blues is as competitive as sports at U of T get. UTM students are free to try the many sports offered, although the program is centred at the St. George campus. Still, the trek may be worth it for the opportunity to gain U of T-wide fame and play their best at the OUA level.
For those who aren’t looking to shame other U of T student teams or engage in the highly competitive world of varsity sports, there are extramurals available to students who want the best of both worlds. Many hear the term “extramural” and confuse it with tri-campus intramurals. Rather, extramurals are games between UTM and other schools in the Ontario Colleges Athletics Association, such as Georgian College, Centennial College, and Trent University. There are currently four teams available for extramural competition: coed ultimate Frisbee, coed indoor soccer, men’s basketball, and men’s indoor cricket. UTM will be hosting a tournament for each of these sports during the 2013/14 school year.
Another option, considered by some to be the most fun with the least hassle, is the casual recreation leagues, which offer busy university students the fun of playing sports in a comfortable environment without the worries of commitment. With a swipe of your T-Card, you can get on the court and play a variety of sports, like badminton, volleyball, indoor cricket, 4-on-4 basketball, and indoor soccer.
“It’s the best way for me to get exercise,” says Antonio Fernando, a third-year economics major. “I love the competition that sports brings, but can’t always find the time to commit to anything.” More information about these programs can be found in the RAWC’s 2013/14 Activity Guide.