Recreation in need of a facelift

Photo courtesy of the SACBy Matthew Le Blanc

Students will be waiting even longer as plans to construct the new athletics facility have been pushed back to April 2012, a date that can’t come soon enough.

“Currently our athletics facilities are probably the smallest facility [on a campus] considering the amount of students that we have,” says Matthew Schnarr, Campus Recreation Coordinator for Mohawk’s Students’ Athletics Committee [SAC]. “If you look at other colleges and universities, like Fanshawe, UFT, Mississauga who don’t have as many students, they have outstanding facilities that have more space and programs. I would say ours ranks very low by comparison.”

Mohawk’s gym, originally built in 1967, has gone relatively unchanged for 40 years, a fact Schnarr says students notice.

“As a volleyball coach I get to see other facilities. Durham has a brand-new one. Niagara has a brand-new one… I think it will become a place that people will just want to be around, not always working out, but at least they’ll be in the facility. As it is now, the gym remains relatively empty.”

Julie Morrison is a first-year Mohawk student who wasn’t even aware of the gym on campus until recently.

“I knew we had a fitness centre at the residency, but wasn’t sure if we had a gym like most schools do,” says Morrison. “At first I thought it was where the [McIntyre Theatre] was and was shocked when I finally saw the gym… It’s like those gyms you see in 80’s movies like Teen Wolf.”

Schnarr admits that it’s not entirely the college’s fault. He says in terms of awareness, the SAC needs to do a better job at marketing what’s available.

“I think in terms of our overall population we’re not connecting with enough students,” Schnarr says. “On top of that, inside Mohawk we’re not hitting enough of the students percentagewise to be considered a really healthy and active school.”

When Mohawk completes the project, Schnarr says “it would leave a good stamp on the college” and would go a long way when attracting “new students and elite athletes.”

“We just got the new H wing and that will obviously help with the aesthetics,” he says. “The new facilities will give the feeling that this is the school I want to go to as opposed to a grungy old high school.”

Breaking ground for the facility was originally planned to take place last month, but with Hamilton losing the bid for the massive velodrome in October, Mohawk has been forced to return to their original building plans.

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