Varsity clubs lets students take on a challenge

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A person standing in an open field, arms stretched. They are holding a Frisbee in one hand.
With summer on its way out, this photo just makes me worry about wasps. sonnenruby via Pixabay

UofR offers students an opportunity to bring in new sports to campus

As the University of Regina continues to foster the sports community, Varsity Club sports program is where it is more refined and structural than the other programs. Being a self-funded program, it could be an expensive endeavor but bears great fruits. It is a space which teaches students to go above and beyond in their efforts to run their club and expand thereafter. It involves students coming together in a team, raising funds, and operating independently yet with the support of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. Anyone who enjoys sports in a highly competitive, recreational, or social sense could be a part of their clubs.  

“The qualification to become a varsity club – you need to have a university national championship in that designated sport. You have a year of probation where you have to do all your fundraising. We’re here to support you to do bookings,” said Alison Fisher, Coordinator of Student and Youth Programming for the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “But a lot of it is you proving that your club is able to sustain itself for a year. After that, there is funding available through the varsity club athletic fee collected through the Students’ Union. The students then have an opportunity to access their funding in that method that allows the students to play in a highly competitive level.”   

The Varsity Clubs sports program offers students different clubs to be a part of ranging from curling, dance team, men’s rugby 7’s, women’s rugby 7’s, women’s softball to ultimate disc, women’s flag football, golf, and, most recently, ringette as a new addition. There is a $100 administration fee that the students need to bear to play in one of these clubs or $150 if they are playing in Canada West.  

There is much to potentially experience through these clubs as students continue bonding by playing and self-sustaining their clubs. “They leave as acquaintances and come back as really close friends.” Observing more women teams in this program is a great way for more to get involved as it lays out an easy pathway for new additional members.  

“When I first started playing frisbee, I knew nothing about throwing a frisbee,” said Marchie Fesalbon, a player in the Ultimate Frisbee Women’s Team. “My sister got me into it. I [didn’t] know anybody because it was my first year in-person. It was nice to join a team and be comfortable around different people and learn a different sport. […] It was really fun.” Students enjoy competing and travelling as a whole to different places for tournaments that build their team camaraderie and closeness. “It adds confidence to myself. Everybody has been really nice. It’s nice to be a part of something, expanding and having more friends. Come in and smile and you’re in,” said Fesalbon.  

There are a lot of hoops that students need to jump through in order to create a team. To coach the team too, the coordinator needs to ensure that they are credible and legit to be involved in coaching the students. “The team can choose to provide an honorarium to their coaches and some of their team. It is strictly a volunteer position unless the team decides, because they have to fundraise the money,” said Fisher. To be eligible for the club as a member, students need to be enrolled full-time in classes with at least nine credit hours in the existing semester. Depending on the sport, members need experience and practice to get going.  

Varsity Clubs continues to grow in its popularity among students due to its diverse and competitive nature. It may not sound cheap, but it provides a wholesome experience in one’s university life, adding skills that they may not have had the chance to develop otherwise.  

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