Red River College’s Rebels Athletics program got a bit of a facelift this year — in the form of renovations to the North Gym that will allow fans to get even closer to the action.
In the past, the gym’s bleachers were located in the upper-level exercise loft, which — in addition to wreaking havoc with the loft’s schedule for users — also created a serious disconnect between Rebels’ fans and the athletes they were cheering on.
No longer! As of last February, the North Gym’s bleachers have been located courtside, where they belong. In addition, the gymnasium’s floors were repainted and re-finished (complete with a full-scale Rebels logo at centre court), and all the walls were treated to a new coat of paint.
According to Athletic Director Ryan Ratushniak, the renovations have already drawn praise from athletes and spectators alike.
“One of the purposes of an athletics program is to get people out to watch the games —whether it’s our students and staff, or the community at large,” says Ratushniak.
“We now have a much better facility for achieving that. For our student-athletes, it’s far more attractive to come and train and play in a facility that looks nicer and is brighter and has new floors. And it’s better for the people coming in to the College, who can see there’s this enhanced, attractive facility for them to watch athletics events in.”
“All of these things really help in the recruitment and retention of student-athletes, and they also help to enhance the perception of the College in the community.”
The renovations are the results of several years of planning, and will hopefully prove to be just the tip of the iceberg, says Ratushniak. In coming years, he’d like to have a Plexiglas wall installed to fully separate the Exercise Loft from the gym, to upgrade the floors and running track in the South Gym, and to eventually begin looking at building a more expansive athletics complex on campus.
Such an undertaking would allow RRC to better serve not only students and staff of the College, but also the many external teams and individuals who make use of the College’s facilities. It would also allow for new opportunities in community sport and recreational programming.
Click here for more information on the athletics program at Red River College.