Do sports matter at an art + design school?

Napoleon Dynamite plays tetherball

This is not OCADU. This is a pretty iconic scene from one of my favourite movies: Napoleon Dynamite. Really, I've just been looking for an excuse to use a picture of Napoleon Dynamite in my blog. Any likeness to OCADU or any OCADU student is purely coincidental.

At the parent Q&A sessions I’ve been hosting over the past few weeks, inevitably a mom or dad asks what sports or recreation opportunities we have for our students. I usually respond by telling them we have relationships with some of the nearby recreation facilities, a regular Yoga class, then shrug and say “Um… it’s an art and design school.”  They get it.

But it made me wonder if our assumption that OCADU students are not that interested in and/or don’t have time for sports is true. I looked through some of the open-ended comments in the last major student survey we did, and found a surprising number of students took the time to write about the lack of fitness and recreational opportunities:

“It would really be nice to enjoy playing a game of basketball between classes to  give my brain a break and not have to resort to sitting around in a lounge for 4 hours waiting for my next class.”

“A gym would be nice.”

“Friendly competition between art and design faculties! Yes!”

I’ve asked a few folks and learned that there have been some years where a relatively robust student-run recreation program did exist but faded away this year. And, of course, University Settlement House is within spittin’ distance and does have a gym, a pool and other facilities for a pretty reasonable monthly fee.

So I’m asking: is this a priority? Do sports matter in an art + design school? And if so, what are your ideas for introducing fitness, recreation and healthy competition into the life of the university? (Tetherball anyone?)

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  1. Vinh

    it would be nice to have some recreational activities, sports and even a gym for students in OCAD U. It is a great way to stay healthy and it will definitely allow to open out creativity by having a more relaxed mind, and at that stage it is where our imagination thinks outside the box. Hopefully there is some sort of sports, instead of Yoga, to help us achieve this state.