Rec Club Spotlight: U of M Volleyball Club
At the University of Manitoba, Recreation Services provides students, staff and alumni with the opportunity to participate in organized sport and physical activity through Rec Clubs.
UMToday chatted with U of M Volleyball club president, Anna Mikhailitchenko, to learn more about the club and why she loves being a part of it.
Why did you decide to become an executive of your club?
I was new to Manitoba, and I’d recently gotten back into volleyball but have not always had the opportunity to play regularly in a non-competitive setting (but still a high level of play). I found and joined the volleyball club in January 2018 and have had such a great time since then. It’s been a welcoming and encouraging environment since the very first day and has made a massive difference to my well-being. I was keen on becoming an executive as I wanted to give back and continue to make volleyball club a place where people felt encouraged, could have fun playing a game they love and have a place to unwind after a stressful day of school.
What have you learned while being an executive member of your club?
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make a club run smoothly and successfully. Through this experience, I’ve learned to problem solve, organize (club time and finances), and resolve conflicts. Most importantly, being an executive member has taught me how to work effectively in a team and emphasized how important it is to have a group of fellow executives who are supportive, understanding, and willing to share the responsibilities of running a club. Our club wouldn’t be successful without the commitment and passion of all the executives.
What are some social or physical benefits of being in your club?
So many! Physical benefits include improvements to one’s cardiovascular endurance, agility, hand-eye coordination, reflexes, balance, and spatial awareness. Social benefits include meeting new people. You’ll share the court with a group of like-minded peers looking to improve their level of play and trying to take a break from school. Additionally, playing sports generally enhances mental health and provides a sense of community and belonging. It’s also a great way to discover other leagues in Winnipeg and find other potential teammates!
Are there any specific events/tournaments/achievements you want to highlight?
We do not actively compete as a group in any tournaments. However, some volleyball club members play in external tournaments on their own and use the club as a way to hone their skills.
Why do you think it’s important for students to join a Rec Club?
It’s SO important to get involved in something during university! I’m currently a graduate student and used to be an athlete in high school, but during my undergrad, I never joined any clubs or played volleyball for five years until the very end of my degree, and I have major regrets. It’s nice to get out of the books and give your mind a break, have fun, and most importantly, connect with and form a community outside of your classroom. I can’t express enough how invaluable my non-academic community has been for my mental health during my studies. I’ve developed amazing friendships along the way. These are the years you look back on, and it’d be a shame if you stayed in books the entire time. Ultimately, joining any club is beneficial, but I find Rec Clubs provide the bonus of creating a fun, enjoyable, and easily accessible way to maintain a healthy lifestyle between study sessions. Rec Clubs allow you to connect and invest in not only others but yourself as well.
Visit uofmactiveliving.ca to learn more about the club, see the club schedule, and register. You can also contact the club president at mikhaila [at] myumanitoba [dot] ca or message the group on their club Facebook page.