Concordia’s Lack of Sports
Students Create Opportunities For Themselves
"Concordia has its official varsity sports teams, but where are the options for people like you and me who want to play recreationally?" asked Julie Tran, a student at Concordia University.
Tran is one of three students looking to address this concern. Along with David Ruiz and Karam Hamwi, the inception of the Concordia Recreational Sports Club will run with investment from the Concordia Student Union. This club will allow students to do different sports regardless of their level, including volleyball, beach volleyball, bouldering, skating, bowling, among others not yet offered at the university.
The trio recognized the disparities between Concordia University and other institutions across the island of Montreal.
“Our club is really there as an opportunity to get people out, offer a variety of sports for Concordians and for them to make friends and stay active,” Tran explained. The group thought that the sports clubs at Concordia were a bit niche and wanted to offer different sports mostly during the weekends when all students would be more available.
Using volleyball as an example, Ruiz said that it is not easily accessible at Concordia. If you want to play this sport, you can sign up for the intramural league, which offers volleyball games one day a week for Concordia students, alumni and people outside the university. Other than that, there aren't many options; no drop-ins and no varsity leagues, whereas McGill, Université de Montréal and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières all have a varsity team.
Costs for funding a varsity team include at least one coach , support staff (assistant coach, doctor, therapists, etc.), travel costs, a physical rehabilitation therapy program, fundraising costs—and, most importantly, the availability of a gym for a few days of practice and games per week. For intramural teams, the situation is also painstaking. The process for implementing new recreation teams is only functional if there’s a possibility to garner enough participation, rent spaces and collect enough money from teams looking to participate.
If, for financial reasons, Concordia does not plan to create more volleyball activities, then they need to be better at communicating the alternative sports available. “It would be easier if there were a hub with some sort of schedule to show what is going on every week,” said Ruiz. Despite a schedule set up on the Concordia website, navigating to get to the page is difficult and does not include all options for events across all intramural and recreation clubs.
The club seeks to collaborate with other clubs at Concordia, such as ultimate frisbee, roller skating, and skiing, to make connections with other sports communities.
This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 11, published February 7, 2023.