The lowdown on campus athletics

From varsity sports to intramurals and aerobics classes, there’s a sweaty niche for you on campus

Between classes, reading, parties amd meals, fitting athletics into your schedule can be daunting. Luckily, Queen’s has a variety of ways you can stay active.

If you’re into getting in shape on your own schedule, you can visit the Physical Education Centre (PEC), on Union Street next to the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC). The PEC offers weight-room facilities, a swimming pool, squash and racquetball courts, and access is free with your student card. There are also tennis courts located near Summerhill on Main Campus, but you need to book them in advance at the PEC. You can take fitness classes such as aerobics and kickboxing, and the best part is they’re included in your student fee.

Those on West Campus can also use the tennis courts there, located between John Orr Tower and Richardson Stadium. They’re available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can find out more about the casual side of recreation at Queen’s at goldengaels.com/recreation/casualrec.html.

If you need something a little more organized to get you up and active, the University offers a variety of intramural sports throughout the year. Last year, offerings included traditional sports like soccer and volleyball, as well as more unconventional fare like inner-tube water polo. You can sign up for intramural sports teams at Athletic Information Night, which takes place in the PEC in early September. Intramural participation is included in your athletics student fee, so you won’t have to pay to play. For more information on intramural sports, check out goldengaels.com/intramurals/index.html.

Feeling competitive? The University also offers opportunities to compete in varsity athletics. Queen’s is represented by 24 inter-university teams and 23 inter-university clubs. There are varsity athletes competing in most conventional sports, such as basketball and football, but also in such unorthodox competitions as mountain biking, water polo, ultimate frisbee, competitive cheerleading and curling. If you think you’ve got what it takes to try out for a varsity team, visit the inter-university sports page at goldengaels.com/interuniversity/index.html and use the contact information to get in touch with the right coach.

If you prefer to fit in your workout by cheering from the sidelines, there are plenty of opportunities to do that as well. Admission to regular-season games in almost any sport is free with your student card. This offers a great opportunity to watch some of the Gaels’ many outstanding teams, such as women’s soccer, which finished second in the country last year, or men’s volleyball, which won last year’s OUA Championship. A number of former Queen’s athletes have gone on to play for professional or national teams, so this is your chance to see them before they make the big leagues. News and schedules for any of the University teams are listed on the inter-university sports page. More ambitious fans can look into joining the aforementioned competitive cheerleading squad at queenscheerleading.ca, or any of the Queen’s Bands groups—pipe band, marching band, highland dancers, and cheerleaders—at clubs.myams.org/bands.

Job hunters, take note: Athletics and Recreation also offers work opportunities for students. Positions include working as event staff at varsity home games and lifeguarding. Check out goldengaels.com/employment.html for information on how to apply. You can also work as an official for intramural games: Details on these positions can be found at goldengaels.com/intramurals/employment.html.

Athletics and Recreation by the numbers

5,000: approximate number of students involved in intramurals last year

2,000: estimated number of students who use the PEC’s facilities each day

1,013: number of students involved in inter-university competitions in 2006-07

1882: the year Queen’s first competed in a formal athletic competition against another university—a men’s rugby game against the Royal Military College

$1: original student fee for Athletics and Recreation, established in 1888

$128.66: 2007-08 student fee for Athletics and Recreation

$4 million: approximate 2006-2007 budget for Athletics and Recreation

—Source: Queen’s University Athletics and Recreation: Charting a Course of Excellence; May 2007

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