Sweaty palms. Racing heartbeats. Complete dedication. Utter concentration. An overwhelming feeling of joy. These are regular occurring moments and feelings found at the AUC Sports Complex amongst the AUC community who play sports.
The AUC Sports Centre offers over 10 sports facilities including basketball, volleyball and football. These facilities are open to all AUC undergraduates, alumni and outsiders–if signed up, and includes the sports equipment–if wanted. Many members of the AUC community like to take advantage of these facilities, as it is a perfect opportunity for health improvement.
“I am so grateful that the university provides us with so many sports for us to play. Me and my friends like to play different sports regularly since its great entertainment and good for you,” said Malak Habib, an active AUC student.
Sports has been directly related to many benefits such as increasing physical strength and relieving stress, and many members of the community are encouraged to exercise for these benefits. These facilities are not only there for the sake of the sports teams’ use, it is also used to help students balance their educational life and physical life in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Many of the sports teams found at AUC travel nationally and internationally in order to compete against other teams. In the last year, they earned 26 medals in the national university tournament and eight medals at the Armenian College of Greece’s International Sports Festival. All sports teams travel as a collective to the international tournaments, as it offers a variety of sports, yet separately in the national tournaments.
“Traveling abroad is definitely a highlight for our sports year. It is a very fun and different experience but it also gets me and my team very dedicated and passionate about being the best we can be so we can do our best at these tournaments,” said Mustafa Roshdy, a member of the basketball team.
The most popular sports found at AUC are football and basketball due to Rugby’s shift from a sport to a club. “It used to be rugby, but now rugby is an AUC club not a sports team anymore–but now it’s basketball and football,” said Amira Farag, the Recreation and Wellness Manager at AUC. Although you may find many students playing basketball and football, a numerous amount prefer rugby, yet are now facing difficulties due to their opportunities being taken away from them.
Many teams, like rugby, are facing difficulties due to their forced shift from being a sport to a club. They now struggle to reserve the fields for practice and are revoked from the opportunity of competing abroad against other equally-skilled teams. This prevents them from gaining the full sports experience, which is an important aspect of sports since they are not given the right to reach their full potential.
Malak Hangal, an IMC and Business Major on the Frisbee Team, expressed her feelings regarding the issue saying, “they turned all of our sports teams into clubs and so they don’t give us much importance, and sometimes they don’t even open the lights for the stadium so it causes us difficulty rather than help.”
Hangal later expresses her desires on how things can be improved, which happens to be common amongst many students, saying, “I’d love for AUC to give us more importance and recognize our efforts and help us whether financially or in other ways.”
Not only that, but many have recognized that the facilities are not completely taken advantage of by the students. Although many may recognize the daily usage of these facilities, the people who use it are nearly a fraction of the entire AUC Community. Yet, many students have considered this something positive–in regards to never having usage issues.
“I love the fact that there is always a free court or field for us to play on. That makes playing sports so much easier and less stressful. There is always equipments and facilities for us to use and its usually never crowded,” said Habib.
Another issue that happens to be reoccurring when it comes to sports at AUC is the commitment issues the sports teams face with their members. Many of the members are not consistent with attending practices due to other circumstances, most commonly being practices at their club. This makes them consider the university practices as optional or extra which is a misconception.
“I want them to commit more to the sports practices–especially practices–because they used to practice in their club, they don’t come to the practices here at the AUC and we still need them to be here and to motivate the other freshmen students to be committed,” said Farag.
Although there may be minor issues regarding sports at AUC, the overall influence of the complex and facilities, on the AUC community, is very positive. The variety of facilities allows for the students to have various options and experiences to explore if desired.