WATERLOO, Ont (November 14th, 2017) - Fall semester at Wilfrid Laurier University welcomed over 100 Laurier International students to play in six different Laurier Recreation intramural leagues. International students participated in a variety of sports including cricket, volleyball, basketball, badminton and dodgeball.
For an in depth look on how Laurier International students enjoyed intramural programming, the Department of Athletics and Recreation conducted interviews with frequent participants.
Katie Brandon-Wheeler is a second year double degree French and Spanish student with a minor in Arabic. Brandon-Wheeler is also a volunteer for Global Engagement Student Leadership (GESA) through Laurier International, co-president of the Laurier French club, a member of the Alpha Phi fraternity, and plays in a variety of intramural leagues.
Brandon-Wheeler chose to participate in Laurier Recreation’s intramural program because she was interested in meeting new people and making connections that will last beyond the intramural season. Brandon-Wheeler is an excellent example of how Laurier intramurals goes beyond sport, and works to develop and sustain relationships across campus.
“I believe that the best part of intramurals with international/exchange students is the fact that you can take people from literally all over the world and come together as a team,” said Brandon-Wheeler. “I think it’s amazing that we can go beyond language, race, political boundaries and work together for a common goal.”
Brandon-Wheeler continued to discuss the ways in which Laurier intramurals and working with Laurier International have positively impacted her time at Laurier. “I am learning so much about countries that I have never focused on in the past,” further commented Brandon-Wheeler. "All of my teammates are nice and welcoming; it’s almost as if international students have come together and created their own family here in Canada.”
Secondly, Edward Yu is a third-year international student from China, who has been playing on a Laurier International basketball team for the past three years. As of this semester, it is his first time in the role of captain for the team. Yu also works for the Laurier International office as a Student Peer Mentor, and is involved with the Laurier International Filmmaker Guild.
Yu chose to participate in intramurals because of the fun, yet competitive environment. He reflected that everyone on the Laurier international basketball team all has a common goal to drive them: to win as a team. Yu has heard from multiple teammates that they love the atmosphere of intramurals and the team as a whole, which meant a lot to him as the captain of the team. Similarly to Brandon-Wheeler’s experience, players on Yu’s team come from countries all over the world including France, Germany, Russia, Bangladesh, China and Canada.
“The best part of the intramural game is that although everyone thinks it is just a casual game, we all put our passions and efforts into the game,” Yu stated as his favourite part of participating in Intramurals.
After Yu joined the Laurier International intramural basketball team, he continued to look for ways to engage his teammates within the Athletic Complex as a whole. Through visiting the Laurier Athletics website, Yu came across multiple opportunities, including open gym times, where his team gathered to train and come up with strategies to improve upon their upcoming games.
Overall, Laurier Recreation’s intramural programs continue to grow. Recreation continues to see an increase in the diversity of students engaging in intramurals including cricket, badminton, table tennis and bouldering. Female participation also continues to grow with increased participation in soccer, basketball, bouldering and ice hockey.
Take a look at the Recreation Guide to preview winter semester intramural sport listings.