Sport & Recreation’s Diversity & Equity team works to promote equity and inclusion in physical fitness at U of T. SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY

From the squash court to Mindful Moments drop-ins, there is always some way to get active at the University of Toronto. Despite the many options available, students still struggle to find fitness spaces that are right for them. It can be especially difficult for students who don’t see themselves represented in such spaces.

Aiming to shed light on these anxieties, one group on campus is working to break down the barriers to physical and mental health facing U of T students: Sport & Recreation’s Diversity & Equity team.

Composed of undergraduate and graduate students from across campus who work to promote equity and inclusion in physical fitness, the Diversity & Equity team is a part of the Sport & Recreation division of Kinesiology & Physical Education, which offers sport and physical activity programs to the U of T community. With an emphasis on accessibility, their initiatives aim to cater to all skill sets, body types, genders, and other diverse forms of identity.

Through activities and events such as the weekly trans-positive swim time and the body-positive Move with Pride! series, the group is creating non-traditional fitness spaces for underrepresented bodies on campus. With its programming, the group hopes to provide spaces where students feel accommodated, comfortable, and encouraged to get involved in the Sport & Rec community.

Whether attending alone or with friends, Diversity & Equity events are a great way to learn more about fitness, make new friends, or simply destress from hectic university life.

If you’re looking to incorporate some education into your fitness journey, the Diversity & Equity team is hosting a Diversity & Equity Conference on November 17, in collaboration with the 519 Community Centre and the Toronto SAD Collective at 519 Church Street. The conference includes a series of lectures, workshops, and interactive panels on topics ranging from Indigeneity to mental health. Registration is only $5 and includes dinner and snacks.

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