BY ANDREW BENNEY
Intramural sports at Conestoga College’s Doon campus will be expanding to include weekend-scheduled games in the new year. But, with nearly 800 participants recorded during the fall semester, twice the number of players who registered last year, and the student recreation centre receiving a renovation worth over $20 million, it was only a matter of time until the activities hosted within the building got an expansion as well.
Because soccer is easy to run and it draws a diverse crowd, it will be the only sport offered for students on weekends in 2017. This means players will now have two separate leagues to participate in if they wish. Full-time students are welcome to sign a team up, or just play themselves, in both the regularly scheduled Wednesday night soccer league, and in the new Sunday soccer league, which will take place from 12 until 4 p.m.
Also, if it ends up being a success in terms of satisfaction and participation, students can expect other sports to begin getting scheduled on weekends as well.
“We’re really looking at trying to offer more opportunities for students to participate in intramural programs,” said Jenni Bauer, the recreation centre’s facility co-ordinator.
We don’t currently have anything on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so we’re kind of testing or piloting to see if it’s something that will be sought after by the school. Hopefully we will be able to take some feedback and get some more information, so we can take that into consideration when moving forward with intramurals.” The current method of surveying is still being determined by organizers, but a mass email to current intramural participants or even the whole student body are possibilities. As well, all students who participate in the new Sunday afternoon soccer league will be able to rate their experience at the end of the semester so that the recreation centre staff can make adjustments and improve the experience.
“I would definitely be going Sundays. I’ll always take the chance to play more, but it’s kind of nice to have something to look forward to at the end of the week besides all my work,” said Brynn Sneek, a current intramural soccer participant.
“(I) wouldn’t mind if it started up a bit later than noon though. I play at six every week and I like it,” he added.
Although weekend sports have been held at the college before, it hasn’t happened for many years. In fact, prior to the recreation centre’s renovation, a survey found that only 1 per cent of students used what was previously a hockey rink. That is now a thing of the past. Between drop-in gym times, varsity athletics and intramural programs, the school’s gyms are basically at maximum capacity during weekdays, making the weekend an ideal time for student sports.
“I think, since we have been open in September, students have really embraced the building since the change, and really embraced just being able to come by. Our drop-in sports are always really busy and some of our intramural sports even have wait lists, so I encourage students to sign up early if they want to get in,” Bauer said.
Anyone wishing to participate in intramurals next semester, which besides soccer includes dodgeball, hockey, volleyball, ball hockey, basketball, squash and flag football, will be able to do so in the new year, immediately following the winter break. Most sports will then begin 2-3 weeks after registration is opened, however, booking finalizations are still being completed at this time.