How to get the most out of your Athletic & Recreation fee

There are a lot of great activities SFU offers to keep you active during the semester

A person walking with an umbrella in the pouring rain downtown.
Stay out of the rain and play some indoor badminton instead. Photo: Osman Rana / Unsplash

By: Marco Ovies, Features Editor

One of the major downfalls to living in the Lower Mainland is the amount of rain that keeps you inside. While it can be tempting to cocoon yourself in a blanket and eat a whole plate of lasagna instead of going for a run in the rain, SFU offers some great indoor alternatives to help you stay active during these rainy months. Since you’re already paying $81.64 for this in your student fees, you might as well take advantage of it. 

SFU offers drop-in sports for Fraser International College students, SFU staff and faculty, and anyone who has a Burnaby Recreation membership, which is included in undergraduate student fees and graduate student fees (if you are enrolled in at least three credits). You can access your membership by going through and completing your SFU Athletics & Recreation Waiver. In 24–48 hours you’ll be ready to go. 

With this membership, you now gain access to facilities like the fitness centre, aquatic centre, climbing wall, drop-in sports, intramural leagues, and the squash, racquetball, and tennis courts. The fitness centre offers plenty of weight-lifting and cardio equipment and is open from:

  • 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
  • 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Saturday are reserved for women only). 
  • The aquatic centre offers lane swim from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays (with reduced hours on weekends). 

Before COVID-19, you were able to drop into the fitness and aquatic centres whenever. But now you are required to book a session in advance through the SFU Rec Member Portal. After booking your session, you will receive a confirmation email and you have until 30 minutes before your time slot to cancel. Each time slot is reserved for one hour. When showing up to your session, you must bring your student ID to check-in. Reservations open up 48 hours before each time slot and close 15 minutes before the said time. Be sure to arrive on time so you can get your full workout in. 

Unfortunately, Intramural leagues are not being offered this semester, due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, the most appealing to me is the drop-in sports that SFU offers. You can partake in activities such as badminton, basketball, volleyball, and spikeball to name a few. These sports are open to people of all skill levels. You must register for all drop-in sports through the Athletics & Recreation website up to seven days in advance and you can cancel one hour before your allotted time. Each registration gives you an hour of playtime and you have the opportunity to sign up for multiple slots. So if you’re looking to play a casual game with some friends or hone your skills, this is the perfect place for both. 

Is going in-person to these fitness centres not your thing? Well, you’re in luck! You also have access to numerous different fitness videos that you can participate in at home. Activities include yoga, meditation, and boot camp classes and are all available on YouTube or through the Simon Fraser Recreation website

So if you’re looking for some good indoor activities to keep you active during the gloomy rainy months, I strongly recommend you make the most out of your Athletics & Recreation fee. With so many different activities available, there is bound to be something you’ll love.