10 Things: The best ways to enjoy athletics and recreation at McGill

1. McGill might not be your traditional sports school, but it does have its own set of customs and traditions. The homecoming football game, one of the year’s first major sporting events, takes place on Oct. 14 against the Concordia Stingers and is worth attending at least once in your McGill career.

2. Ever wanted to thump pots and pans while cheering on McGill? On Nov. 24, Pots and Pans Basketball will see the Martlets and Redmen face off against local rivals Concordia in what are sure to be a couple of bangers. In case you need another reason to go, both McGill teams were RSEQ champions last year, with the Martlets crowned national champions as well.

3. If you’re looking for more McGill pride and eccentrics, you can celebrate the new year on Jan. 19 at the annual Carnival hockey game along with hundreds of fully-grown students dressed in furry onesies. The Carleton Ravens are the unfortunate visitors that day—probably the worst day all year to be a visiting team at McGill.

4. For those looking to enhance their experience during regular season games, Red Thunder is a SSMU club formed in 2009 “with the goal of creating passion towards varsity sports and increasing the level of school spirit on campus.” Members enjoy perks such as a T-shirt and tickets for all varsity games, as well as tailgates, fan buses to local games, and much more.

5. If you’re more into playing sports than watching sports, take advantage of the McGill Sports Complex. Several facilities are accessible to all full-time students via a fee paid with tuition, including the swimming pool, gymnasium, squash courts, and indoor and outdoor tracks. Students can purchase access to the fitness centre at a discounted rate ($40 per semester for undergraduate students, $50 per semester for graduate students).

6. Take the shuttle bus to MacDonald Campus to take advantage of the brand new Mac Paddle Shack, where you can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards as long as the weather stays tolerable.

7. Take one or more of the many weekly exercise classes available at the McGill gym, including everything from swimming, kickboxing, yoga, and zumba to “Abs, back, and bootie.” If you can’t commit to a weekly class, pay-as-you-go classes cost as low as $3.48 each. Try out classes like “Body design,” hot yoga, or high intensity training without committing to a full semester.

8. If you prefer team sports, create an intramural team with friends or sign up as a free agent. McGill offers all the classics, such as soccer, basketball, and ultimate, but it also boasts some sports that you might not have tried before—take a shot at inner-tube water polo in the Winter semester for some real entertainment and surprisingly gritty competition.

9. On Jan. 27, make the trek out to Mac campus to support the Woodsmen. They will be hosting the 58th annual Woodsmen Competition—one of four yearly competitions held by the Canadian Intercollegiate Lumberjacking Association. Events include “Underhand Chop," “Water Boil,” and “Pulp Throwing.”

10. Adopt the Québecois way of life and rent cross-country skis or snowshoes in the winter from the McGill Sports Complex. Take them up Mount Royal or on a road trip if you’re feeling ambitious.

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