Undergraduate Programs

Mathew Blundell

Age: 23

Program: Bachelor of Arts in Sport, Recreation and Tourism (BARST)

In your opinion, what makes this faculty unique?

There are many things that make this faculty unique. My degree in itself is very unique in that it combines sport with the arts. I am very appreciative that I could find a degree that not only focuses on my love of sports and aspects of Kinesiology, but also allows me to study in the arts faculty as I also have a passion for things like history. The other stand out feature of this faculty is the social aspect. I have friends in a variety of faculties at the University of Alberta that all seem to agree that our faculty does a great job of creating fun events for the students within the faculty. These events also make our faculty a very tightly knit group. It is impossible to walk through the Van Vliet Centre without knowing a few faces and stopping for a chat. This closeness makes school much easier and much less stressful. Another unique characteristic is that the professors in this faculty are so friendly and so passionate about what they’re teaching and if approached, they will be more than willing to open themselves up to you. This gives the students an opportunity to really get to know them on a more personal level, which can ease some of the stress of going to class. The facilities are also amazing and the range of classes you can take is incredible-who would ever have thought you could take hockey or curling as a subject? The faculty is just amazing if you have a passion for fitness and sports.

Why did you choose the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation for your undergraduate degree?

After high school, I spent years travelling and trying to decide what I wanted to do for a career. Eventually I settled on chasing a dream job in the downhill mountain biking industry. While living in Toronto, I was working for a technician in the industry and he told me it would be a good idea to get some more practical experience as well as a degree in sport tourism or recreation to give me an advantage coming into the industry. I was initially interested in Kinesiology and was looking to enter the faculty for that program. However, while researching the faculty I found the Bachelor of Arts in Sport Recreation and Tourism degree and decided that that fit my needs more specifically for what I wanted to do, and on top of that it would allow me to study some of the arts that I also have a passion for.

What attracted you to your program?

The Bachelor of Arts in Sport Recreation and Tourism degree covered aspects of the sporting industry like sport management and recreation studies, which I need for the job I am seeking. It also allowed me to study aspects of Kinesiology and the Arts which are additional passions of mine. The degree covers all the aspects of the industry I hope to enter after school and it allows me to study all of the things that I am passionate about from sports to the arts, making it a great fit for me.

What is the most rewarding thing about being an undergraduate student in the faculty?

I love engaging in anything that is going on in the faculty. It’s great how much effort the counsel puts into events and socializing. It makes the faculty a lot of fun and makes you want to come to school every day. I also think one of my favorite things about being in this faculty is that I am surrounded by people who all share similar passions. Therefore, we are all so excited to be there and be studying and sharing in our experiences. It makes for a really fun atmosphere.

Can you give an example of a memorable experience while in the faculty?

Every day in the faculty is awesome. I truly have enjoyed every moment of school so far. All the people in the faculty have been great to get to know and spend each day with. I suppose if I had to pin point one specific moment, it would be when I was in a Recreation and Leisure studies class on group dynamics and I was placed in a group with 7 people I had not met before. By the end of the semester we were all hanging out and going out together and have all become amazing friends. The reason I pick that moment is because it’s a true testament to the people in this faculty. To be placed with 7 strangers to do school related tasks and end up finding 7 new great friends shows how great the people in the faculty are and how much fun it is. Plus, it made class a lot easier!

What advice would you give someone who is considering applying to the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation?

I would probably give the same advice I give to anyone joining any faculty, which is, if you are truly passionate about what you are getting in to then go for it. Don’t do things for any reason other than because you love it. If you love sport and Kinesiology related subjects then this is an amazing faculty which provides a high level of education all while creating an amazing atmosphere. If that is something that appeals to you then this is a great place to do it.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to be done my degree and do a few more years of traveling. I’m hoping that the degree paired with my many other downhill biking credentials and experiences will get me into the industry and hopefully within five years I will be doing some kind of entry level rep work, or simply work in general for a major bike company. For now, I am thrilled to be at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation and I truly believe that I am a part of the best faculty in the University.