September is here and University campuses all over Canada are coming alive again as the 2003-04 school year begins. This is also the time when students are trying out for Varsity sports teams, signing up for intramural sports leagues and joining the other athletic programs available in most Universities. Unfortunately, since Athabasca University is a distance education school with students spread across the entire country it is not possible to offer athletic programs to all of its students.
Does the lack of sports programs at Athabasca University mean that its students are out of luck when it comes to sports? Absolutely not, it simply means that we have to be more imaginative, and put a little more effort into finding alternate sources of sports programs. This is definitely a disadvantage to attending the University, but it should not stop you from participating in your favourite sports.
But why, you may ask, are sports important? As an avid sports player and an Athabasca University student I can point to several reasons why you should participate in a sport. First of all, sports are great stress relievers for students. Whenever I become stressed out from studying and working too much, I find that vigorous exercise reduces my tension and clears my head.
Second, sports leagues are a great way to get out of the house and meet people. This is especially important for students at a distance education University who are lacking the daily interaction with other students.
Finally, and probably most important, sports are great for your health. Reducing stress is good for your health, but sports can also help you maintain a healthy weight by burning fat. Oh, and did I forget to mention that sports are fun? Of course they are, everyone knows that.
So now that I have convinced you to join a sport right away, I am going to give you a little help doing it. If you are thinking about joining a sports team, there are numerous amateur leagues, ranging from recreational leagues for beginners to competitive leagues for more serious players, all across Canada. Don’t think that age is a barrier to playing either because many sports now have old-timers leagues. I have listed websites for sports leagues across Canada at the end of this article.
On the other hand if you are more interested in weight lifting, aerobics, dancing, and martial arts, there are many private gyms that offer these types of programs. Your best approach to finding a program of this nature is to look in the yellow pages under gyms, fitness, dance, or martial arts. Of course leagues and private gyms can be very expensive, and everyone knows that students are not the wealthiest people. Don’t despair if your budget is low. Local Community Centers often offer a wide variety of athletic programs, drop-in sports, and aerobics programs that are very inexpensive. Most drop-in sports that I have been to at these centers ranged from $2.50 to $4.00 a class. You can also purchase monthly passes that make it even cheaper.
Sports are a very important part of student life, but your exposure to sports does not have to occur at a University campus. Whether you are a seasoned player or an absolute beginner you should join a sport today. It will give you a physical and social experience that you will never forget.
SPORTS LEAGUES ACROSS CANADA
At any of the above sites, click on ‘Links” for a list of provincial associations, and a list of leagues and contacts.
Basketball – Basketball Alberta http://www.basketballalberta.ab.ca Click the “Athlete Pages” link, and then the “I Just Want to Play” link, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Soccer – Alberta Soccer Association http://www.albertasoccer.com Click on “Soccer Links”, and then “Local Soccer” and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Volleyball – Alberta Volleyball http://www.albertavolleyball.comClick on “Beach” or “Indoor”, and then on “Leagues”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Basketball – Basketball B.C. http://www.basketball.bc.ca Click on “Club Basketball” and a chart will appear on the right hand side of the screen. Click “Adult”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Soccer – B.C. Soccer Association http://www.bcsoccer.net Click on “BC Soccer”, and then “Senior Leagues” and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Volleyball – Volleyball B.C. http://www.volleyballbc.ca Click on “Adult Programs”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Basketball – Basketball Manitoba http://www.basketball.mb.ca Click on “Programs”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Soccer – Manitoba Soccer Association http://www.manitobasoccer.ca Click on “League Contacts”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Volleyball – Manitoba Volleyball Association http://www.manitobavolleyball.com
Basketball – Basketball New Brunswick http://www.basketball.nb.ca
Soccer – New Brunswick Soccer Association http://www.soccermb.org Click on “Directory”, and then “Provincial Contacts” and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Volleyball – Volleyball New Brunswick http://www.vnb.nb.ca Click on “Programs”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Basketball – Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association http://www.nlba.nf.ca Click on “Basketball Links”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Soccer – Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association http://www.nlsa.net Click on “Leagues”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Volleyball – Newfoundland and Labrador Volleyball Association http://www.nlva.net Click on “Leagues/Teams”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Basketball – Basketball Nova Scotia http://www.basketball.ns.ca Click on “Basketball Registration Link”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Soccer – Nova Scotia Soccer Association http://www.soccerns.ns.ca Click on “Leagues”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Volleyball – Volleyball Nova Scotia http://www.volleyballnovascotia.ca Click on “Leagues”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
North West Territories
Basketball – Basketball N.W.T. http://www.eteamz.com/bnwt
Soccer – N.W.T. Soccer Association http://www.nwtsa.ca
Volleyball – Volleyball N.W.T. http://www.volleyballnwt.internorth.com Click on “Links”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Basketball – Basketball Ontario http://www.basketball.on.ca Click on “Affiliated Clubs and Camps”, and then on “2003 Club Contacts”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Soccer – Ontario Soccer Association http://www.soccer.on.ca Click on “Leagues”, and then “Leagues in Ontario Information”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Volleyball – Ontario Volleyball Association http://www.ontariovolleyball.org Click on “Clubs and Competitions”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.
Prince Edward Island
All Sports – Sports P.E.I. http://www.sportpei.pe.ca Click on “Member Sports”, and then on the sport you are interested in and it will give you contact information for that sport.
Basketball – Quebec Basketball Federation http://www.basketball.qc.ca
Soccer – Quebec Soccer Federation http://www.federation-soccer.qc.ca
Volleyball – Volleyball Quebec http://www.volleyball.qc.ca
Basketball – Basketball Saskatchewan http://www.basketballsask.com
Soccer – Saskatchewan Soccer Association http://www.sasksoccer.com
Volleyball – Saskatchewan Volleyball Association http://www.saskvolleyball.ca Click on “Indoor Programs” or “Beach Volleyball”, and it will give you a list of leagues and contacts.