Winnipeg Rec League softens the blow of athletic fees
Jordan Haslbeck, Sports Columnist
Save of the game
With the start of the school year and the return of heavy workloads, many students may have trouble finding time to exercise. Some hit the gym at either the Notre Dame Campus or the Exchange District Campus, but for those who want to play team sports, affordable options are hard to find.
For instance, playing organized hockey costs a few hundred dollars every season to cover ice time, referee and scorekeeper fees. Equipment alone can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The Winnipeg Rec League (WRL) gives students a cheaper option. A season of floor hockey costs $70, and sticks, balls and goalie equipment are provided each game. The WRL also offers other sports, including slo-pitch, indoor and outdoor soccer, Ultimate, volleyball, basketball and dodgeball, but few students have heard of their programs.
“I only found out about it because I work for the city,” said Jarid Dutchak, who is completing his tenth online course through Red River College.
He said he thinks the WRL struggles to reach out to students. The WRL’s Facebook page has eight likes, and their website lists an old, inactive phone number. They did not respond to The Projector’s email request for an interview.
But students who have heard of the WRL said their programs give them an easy, inexpensive way to stay active and have fun.
“It’s cheap, so it’s really easy to get a full team of my friends together to play,” Dutchak said.
Dutchak and his girlfriend, Jenna Matheison, co-captain a dodgeball team, the Vinegar Strokes, in the fall, winter and spring seasons. They also co-captain an Ultimate team, the Mighty Disks, in the spring and summer.
“Everything is co-ed, so it’s great for couples like us who like to be active,” Matheison said. “I’m surprised with how many people don’t know about the Rec League. After high school, where else are you going to play dodgeball?”
Adam Litwin, a plumbing student at RRC, said he’s played soccer in another local league, but he prefers playing dodgeball and Ultimate on Dutchak and Mathieson’s teams because they’re cheaper to play and easier to fit into his schedule.
“It’s a lot of fun, and it isn’t a big commitment,” he said.
The Mighty Disks play on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the Vinegar Strokes play every Sunday. Registration for fall seasons is closed, but teams and individuals can register online for winter seasons until Dec. 19.