A sunny Thursday at Algonquin College had the sports field full of eager students in sports gear ready for the season’s start of intramural sports.
Campus recreation coordinator Stephanie Rheaume stood with clipboard in hand on the sideline keeping score for the players on the field.
She said it’s the busiest time of year as everything is starting up after the summer break.
“This is our soccer intramurals,” Rheaume said, gesturing to the soccer players in their bright jerseys running by. “This is actually our first year doing it outside.”
All sports were originally held inside of the Jack Doyle Athletics and Recreation Centre, but soccer moved outdoors for the first time this year for more space, a move Rheaume says the players have been happy about. She jokes people have been enjoying not running into walls.
The sports offered for intramurals are co-ed, open to all part-time, full-time, and online students and host roughly 600 to 800 students per semester depending on what is offered, according to Rheaume, herself an Algonquin College graduate of the rec and leisure program.
As intramurals at Algonquin College have been running for roughly 45 years, Rheaume says it’s time to expand into other types of activities. A first-time bowling league is one of the first changes happening, with a one-day pickleball, badminton, and table tennis tournament also in the works.
And the most requested sports not currently offered? Ice hockey and cricket.
“We do want to do cricket again. We do want to bring back ultimate frisbee,” Rheaume said. “We talked about doing baseball just so we would be off campus. We used to do a hockey tournament as well, so there are definitely ideas.”
The future plans for expansions also include expanding existing sports into competitive and non-competitive teams, depending on how many players sign up.
Soccer, basketball, volleyball, ball hockey, and bowling are offered this fall, with volleyball and soccer being the most popular. Wintertime sees more sports offered in the dome, such as touch football and ultimate frisbee.
Thomas Poulin from the electrical technician program says it’s a fun time even though people don’t always follow the rules, like not showing up when the game is supposed to start or entering the playing field from the corner instead of the middle as the rules state.
“Disappointed that three people on my team didn’t show up, and one didn’t show up till halfway through the game. That makes it kind of hard when you don’t have any subs,” Poulin said.
Having played soccer for three semesters during his time in the business administration program, Denzel Manzi says his advice for those looking to join up is to register early, whether that means talking to classmates or signing up by yourself.
“Find the team early, which may be tough because you don’t know who is in your class, or if it’s completely new people who don’t know how to play,” Manzi said. “Sometimes you have to look around for someone familiar you know.”
Manzi added, “But it’s all good fun. I came here, I didn’t have a team and I just wrote my name down to (a new) team.
“I just like the game so getting to play is nice because usually, I don’t know, everyone has a tight schedule, but it’s nice just taking your mind off of classes.”
The winter intramurals registration date has yet to be announced, but drop-ins are welcome for open badminton and volleyball on Mon. and Tues. for the rest of the semester at the ARC.