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Is the DBARC making a difference on campus?

28 November 2013 No Comment

Attending varsity games can be a big part of getting the “college experience” and can also help amp up school spirit.

With the construction of the new David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre (DBARC), more students are attending varsity games according to Michelle Ball, the Director of Student Engagement and Athletics. Ball says that although they don’t keep attendance records for varsity games there has been a noticeable increase compared to last year, when the teams were still playing in the old gym.

The Mohawk athletic department is doing a number of things to improve attendance at varsity games this year, and the new $35-million sporting facility is a big part of it.

“I think advertising and marketing the games to a wider audience might increase attendance. The DBARC does that naturally as a thoroughfare for students entering campus. As well, students working out in the fitness centre in the evening are much more aware of our varsity program as they can see the practices and the games from upstairs. In addition, the MSA has a large digital sign that faces the parking lot and will be up and running shortly, which will reach thousands of students coming and going every day,” said Ball.

Creating a “game-day experience” is a big part of varsity sports in the U.S. that hasn’t quite made it’s way over the border into Canadian colleges athletic programs like Mohawk. Ball says that although the athletic department would love to offer this kind of experience for students it is unable to do so due to lack of resources.

American college and university athletic programs often have million-dollar sponsorship deals with companies like Nike who pass over the paper to have their logo displayed on every jersey and piece of equipment, making it a win-win situation for the athletic programs and major sports apparel companies. These funds are put towards building state-of-the-art facilities, training equipment, and student engagement initiatives.

These kinds of deals simply don’t exist for Canadian college athletic programs.

However, Mohawk’s athletic department is reaching out to students in order to increase attendance.

“One method is through our Student Athletic Committee and one of its roles is to spread the words about not only varsity programming, but also other programming such as our intramural and recreation leagues,” said Ball.

If you haven’t caught a varsity game at the DBARC I would encourage you to do so. What better way to spend a study break then getting together with your friends and meeting other Mohawk students, helping create school spirit, and of course catching a sporting event for free.

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