The recent annual and semi-annual team tryouts were the highlight of tri-campus, casual co-ed, intramural and campus-rec teams for soccer, basketball, ice hockey, volleyball, football, cricket, and other sports. Students of all ages arrived at least 30 minutes early to show off their basketball and volleyball skills in all three gyms of the Recreational, Athletics & Wellness Centre. The soccer and football tryouts took place at the north and south fields near the RAWC.
Throughout the first three weeks of term, the program coordinator, experienced coaches, and the UTM Athletic Council worked hard to plan and promote the tryouts and other athletic activities via the school website, Facebook, and colourful posters around the campus.
“Students can develop a number of skills by taking part in sporting and other campus activities,” said Jack Krist, the program coordinator of the Department of Physical Education, Athletics & Recreation.
“Social benefits, time-management skills, leadership skills, and health benefits. Employers and post-graduate schools also look for more well-rounded students, not just academics.”
Krist also hopes more women will take advantage of the facilities at the RAWC. “We don’t have enough women to make campus-rec soccer teams for them,” he said. UTM has 18 men’s soccer teams. The campus-rec soccer teams consist of 10 to 12 students each, and these teams play against each other.
Basketball, another popular sport on campus, held two of its team tryouts on September 21 from 6 to 7 p.m. for women and 7:30 to 9 p.m. for men. Dance and hip-hop music blared through the speakers as students prepared themselves by stretching, sprinting, and shooting hoops. The drills included dribbling, passing, running, spinning, and scoring with a switch every few minutes. Other students jogged and sprinted on the running track above the gym.
The program coordinator and the coaches encourage more first-year students to participate. “If a first-year student and a fourth-year student have similar skills, we are more likely to let the first-year student into the team,” said Neil Sehra, the women’s basketball coach. This is because the first-years have more time to improve and make the team stronger over the years.
“I don’t know what my chances are, but I’d like to try anyway,” said first-year student Jennie Griffin. Around 30 women, including at least 10 first-year students, showed up at the tryouts in September.
The men’s basketball tryouts were more intense, with many techniques and stricter rules.
“I think my chances are good. I’ve been playing basketball since I was two. I have videos of me shooting hoops and stuff,” said John Harvey, a first-year chemistry student.
Another set of tryouts will take place in the beginning of the second semester in January. For more information, please add UTMAC Eagles on Facebook or visit the physical education department website, located at http://www1.erin.utoronto.ca/w3physed/facilities.php.