Students and fitness can have a strange relationship due to a lack of time, odd schedules or simply uncertainty about what best suits their lifestyle. An upcoming event on Broadway Avenue hopes to show students how to reconcile this.
On July 9 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., a portion of Broadway Avenue will be used to hold Alternative Sports on Broadway — a day dedicated to showcasing different types of alternative sports. Happening on the block in front of the Broadway Theatre, this event will feature sports like bike polo, parkour, skateboarding and bicycle motocross. Additionally, there will be a variety of styles of bicycles to demo for those looking to find their style of bicycling.
“We’re trying to get a DJ down there and then try to, as much as possible, set things up so people can sort of try out the sports and get a taste of a few different things,” Challis said.
While there will be a variety of sports available for people to try, Challis added that some cannot be offered due to insurance purposes. However, as he states, the event will make for a good networking opportunity for those in Saskatoon’s sporting community.
“Sometimes these guys in communities can be hard to track down, like I know the parkour guys, [but] unless you run into them you’re not necessarily gonna chat with them,” Challis said.
He also added that this event will be a good place to get help to get into alternative sports, as well as to find information on the communities around these sports. Challis also believes that not everyone enjoys the traditional sports style.
“I think being active is important but people don’t always necessarily like that sort of team environment or the expense of hockey equipment, that kind of thing. A lot of these sports you can get into [for] a fraction of the cost and you can kind of build individual skills as well as team skills,” Challis said.
Challis believes that a benefit to alternative sports is that the starting price can be reasonable.
“There’s sort of a mix, like some of them are pretty cheap to get into. Parkour, you just get a set of shoes and you can do that, bike polo you can just sort of get a used bike — so you can get into a lot of these for a good price,” Challis said.
However, Challis also noted that this is not necessarily the case for all alternative sports.
“There’s others that obviously can, like anything, go sky high. I started out with cheap bikes [and] learnt a ton so there’s definitely ways you can get into them for cheap,” Challis said.
Having grown up in small town Saskatchewan, Challis got into biking due to its versatility as you can bike virtually anywhere you like. The availability of sports venues and finding time with a student lifestyle can make sports participation difficult — something Challis found while he was in university.
“When I was going to university, it was sort of class all day and then I had work. Then it’s really late and you’re not necessarily able to go [out], like the lights are out at the basketball courts,” Challis said.
Challis also noted that not only was biking available at any time of day, but also provided a way to wind down.
“I felt that I was able to go bike whenever, just sort of clear my head, relax and get ready for the next day. It’s a good way, because it is sort of flexible you can do it wherever. You can fit it into your schedule, you can de-stress [and] you can still sort of get that fitness in even after the gym is closed. For me, I think it’s what kept me sane through university,” Challis said.
Challis also went on to say that another benefit to biking is that it can also double as a mode of transport and that since he started, biking and alternative sports have become a major factor in his life.
For more information on Alternative Sports on Broadway, find the event on Facebook.
Jack Thompson / Staff Writer
Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor