UBC Undergraduate Research

Facilitating Recreational Programming on Campus Bourchier-Willans, Abigayil; Vader, Kasey; Vadot, Emma; Radivojevic, Dana; Peterson, Zoe


The purpose of this project is to identify the information and resources that would be most valuable to UBC groups and clubs when planning and hosting recreational events. Recreational programs have been shown to have physical, educational, psychological and social benefits to students in university (Forrester, 2014). Despite these benefits, it may be difficult for students to run these types of programs due to difficulty balancing school, work and other responsibilities ( Hall, Scott, & Borsz 2008 ). Our research aims to identify the barriers UBC academic groups face when planning and hosting recreational programming. This study also aims to determine the most valuable resources that could be provided to assist in overcoming the identified barriers. Our data could be used to form a ‘recreational programming toolkit’ that could be provided to all UBC campus groups. We hope this information can be used to lessen the burden that recreational event planning can place on university students and enable more groups to host activities that are beneficial to the university population. Qualitative data was collected through semi-structured interviews of each participant either in person or over the phone. Interviews began by asking if the participant’s club had ever hosted a recreational event before, and their yes or no answer guided us along to a specific set of questions dependent on the response. The following questions investigated the group’s history with recreational programming, their successes and failures in their endeavours, as well as the resources they desired but struggled to obtain to facilitate their events as intended. Thematic content analysis provided us with a count of the total number of groups that identified similar barriers, as well as the most frequently wished-for information and resources. The most frequently identified barriers to recreational programming were difficulty acquiring facilities (10 / 15 total respondents), communicating with UBC staff (9 / 15 total respondents), and the need for financial support (9 / 15 total respondents). Our participants indicated that the two most beneficial resources would be: resources for booking facilities (9 / 15 respondents) and acquiring athletic/sports equipment (8 / 15 respondents). Whether these groups plan recreational events to socialize, to increase their health, or just to break up their regular group activities, a ‘recreational programming toolkit’ would allow all UBC groups to reap even more benefits from their events, and hold them more frequently. A ‘recreational programming toolkit’ would also make planning and hosting recreational events more accessible and welcoming for groups that have not held them in the past. The ideal toolkit would provide information on the best practices for booking facilities and acquiring athletic/sports equipment, options and advice for when groups feel they need financial support, and listings of possible instructors or leaders. Limitations of this study mostly stemmed from the challenging recruitment of academic groups, which led to a limited range of groups included in the study. Future research should be done in order to expand information presented in the toolkit so that it can be useful for other university organizations. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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