“Due to limited female participation, our Women’s Campus Rec Program only consists of Women’s Campus Rec Tournaments and Coed Leagues,” reads a sign posted in the women’s changeroom at the RAWC. For the female students at UTM who do play sports on campus, it’s an ongoing frustration.
Tryouts for women’s sports are held at the beginning of each semester, and it’s always a struggle to get enough players to field a team. The term “tryout” can be intimidating, but due to decreasing numbers, cuts are rarely made. One would think that with the number of women working out at the gym, there would be no problem finding enough to play for intramural teams. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and thus many recreational programs have been changed to coed sports.
One of the main problems is that many students are unaware that these programs exist, and therefore do not participate in their study years. People don’t know what’s going on at the gym unless they’re there often or they visit the website. Most posters for the events at the gym go unnoticed.
This year the RAWC has introduced a women’s-only fitness class, “Strength and Stretch”, which runs every Friday from 9:10 to 10 a.m. The class is held in an isolated area of the fitness studio at the gym. The fitness class isn’t the only allotted time for women’s-only activities at the RAWC; there are also two recreational sports times in Gym C and specific times set aside at the pool. Participation in these classes is on the rise, especially at the pool.
Perhaps the increased participation in women’s-only classes at the RAWC will bring more female students out to team sports as well. Until then, women’s sports teams at UTM will be desperate for participants—and coed sports will have to suffice.