Eerily convinced strips of bloody latex and a pair of skates turned this human into the skating dead. ZAHRA ZAHRAVI/THE VARSITY

As I stood watching my friend stick an eerily convincing strip of bloody latex to her neck, I debated whether or not to apply the myriad of creams and coloured corn syrups to my face as well. The night’s theme was zombies, and a few of my residence neighbours and I had assembled to prepare ourselves. Eventually, I ceded: I, too, would be zombified.

Zombie Skate’s Facebook event page appeals to fans of The Walking Dead and Kurt Browning aspirants for a night of free skating. Not knowing many of either group and considering Browning’s last world championship win was in 1993, I was surprised to see a lineup at the door. Apparently, the event was extremely popular.

University of Toronto Students’ Union’s (UTSU) Blue Crew was at the event, eagerly welcoming the nights’ attendees. The Blue Crew is a volunteer branch of UTSU, and it runs a variety of on campus events. On account of my posse’s enthusiastic makeup, we received an extra warm welcome: we were photographed and entered in a raffle. After filtering through lines and waivers, then sizing skates and squeezing into them, we were on the ice.

The event was part of MoveU, a tri-campus campaign that was launched by U of T in partnership with ParticipACTION. According to the website, the campaign exists to show students that “by lowering stress levels, improving sleep patterns and boosting concentration,” physical activity can be beneficial to academic life.

MoveU encourages students to integrate physical activity into their day, in whatever way possible. Zombie Skate is part of the MoveU Skate Series: other events include Scary Skate on October 31 and Skate ’n Create on November 24. MoveU has also organized events incorporating a variety of other activities — from bubble soccer to Pokémon hunts.

“[MoveU] events are a way to engage students who may not typically be participating in physical activity on campus,” said Kay Dawkins, Manager of Physical Activity at the Athletic Centre. “The skating events also promote that we have a rink on campus and that recreational opportunities for skating and hockey are available for students for free.”

Skate rentals normally cost $3.00, but the MoveU skate series events provide them for free.

Zombie skate turned out to be friendly to beginners, as several staff instructors were on the ice assisting new skaters. I had the pleasure of attending the event with two new residents of Canada and joining them for their first time on ice.

Our staggering strides and tendency to tumble might easily have led onlookers to mistake us for some of the Walking Dead’s non-living characters. However, it was fun we were chasing, not brains. On the faces of the stumbling and the smoothly-gliding alike, smiles could be seen in a not-so-zombielike light.

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