UBC has put $170,000 to UBC Recreation to support greater access to recreational activities over the next two years.
The director of intramurals and recreation Michael Tan explained that the funding will split between helping restart intramural programs and a new free equipment rental initiative on the MacInnes Field.
He said that there has been more interest in recreational activities this year than was initially anticipated. As a result, the “intramural program was actually over capacity and oversubscribed.”
Second-year student and participant in the intramural soccer league Ziyaan Virij found it “relatively harder than expected” to join the team. Virji also mentioned that he knew quite a few students that were not able to join intramural leagues.
In attempts to meet the increased demand, 156 new intramural team spots and 2 new leagues will be added to the program for winter term 2.
In addition to the intramural programs, UBC Recreation plans to launch the new Moves on MacInnes initiative, which will provide free equipment rentals to students.
While MacInnes Field is already a popular hub for students, Tan noted “that as much as the interest was there, the supplies and equipment weren't really around to help support.”
As the weather begins to warm up in the spring, UBC Recreation intends to rent out supplies such as Spikeball, frisbees and balls free of charge from the Student Recreation Centre to be used by students on the field.
“I definitely would use whatever equipment they have. One thing I really enjoy about being a student here is that a lot of physical activities are accessible,” fourth-year marketing major and an active intramural league participant Afkar Fazil said.
Tan emphasized that UBC Recreation is about community.
“I just think it comes down to this idea that recreation is amongst many avenues that students are looking to get involved in. And it's really about making friends, it's about connecting with others and it's about trying activities in a way that works for you,” Tan said.
As an international student who experienced his first year at UBC online, Virij explained that “playing intramurals has definitely helped [him] find a greater sense of community.”
Fazil was happy to hear about the new funding for recreational activities for students. “I use physical activity as a way to destress and really take care of both my physical and mental health. And so the fact that they see us doing that, I think it's a good thing.”
The funding put forth toward the intramural programs and free-for-use equipment rentals aims to accommodate students wishing to engage in both formal and informal recreational activities.
“What [the funding] is intended to do is essentially help enhance the student experience,” Tan said.
Registration for all winter term 2 intramural team leagues began on November 8. More information can be found here.