It’s the time every student dreads: the beginning of a school year. But put your upcoming tests, essays, presentations, and exams out of mind for just a minute so you can take the time to get in shape. During a summer filled with festivals, food, concerts, travelling, and parties, many take a vacation from staying fit. Luckily, we have the facilities, programs, and trainers of the campus’s Recreation, Athletics, and Wellness Centre.
The RAWC will host a variety of programs every day of the week throughout the year, including scheduled pick-up activities like soccer, basketball, and cricket, and registered activities, such as swimming, martial arts classes, and belly-dancing.
“We are always looking to broaden the scope of our programs and create more opportunities for students to become physically active,” says Jack Krist, program coordinator at the RAWC.
He adds, “Getting new people in the building through one specific activity often opens their eyes to all the other opportunities available to them.”
Last year, the RAWC introduced a unique training program using Hydroriders (stationary bicycles designed for use in the water) in what is essentially an underwater spin class ideal for rehabilitation, especially for those with knee or hip injuries.
The dance programs at the RAWC have gained tremendous popularity over the years, with hip-hop, jazz, and ballroom dancing attracting the most participants. The growing population of South Asian students at UTM also created the demand for the a Bollywood dance class featuring authentic Bollywood music and fast-paced Bollywood dance moves to bust out during pub nights.
Students looking for a holistic mind and body approach to getting fit will have the opportunity to do so in the Tai Chi classes to be featured this year.
“Tai Chi has been offered before. And although viewed as a gentle martial art, it’s very healing and can be a really great workout for anyone,” says Michael Foley, program assistant at the RAWC. “This year, we have created a mind-body section which really fits well with the university’s messaging around positive mental health and our students being happy, healthy, and well. ”
The RAWC will also facilitate the squash ladder, a favourite among squash players, providing racquets to be signed out at the control counter. Squash lessons are also available this term from September 24 to November 20 for a one-time fee.
By contrast, the fees for most of these programs are free with the gym membership included in full-time students’ tuition and accessible via a swipe of the T-Card. The membership includes access to all RAWC facilities, including the track and weight rooms, the gym equipment, and a number of pick-up sports.
Krist concludes by citing two more incentives to visit the RAWC. One, regular physical activity is actually linked with an increased GPA. Two, he points out, “Getting a group of friends together and playing in a campus recreation league or one of our University of Toronto intramural teams will generate lifelong friendships.”
Students can find schedules, locations, and other information in the 2013/14 Activity Guide, available at the RAWC’s front desk.