RecPlex community use a success

 Approximately 3,000 participants enjoying RecPlex weekly — one third are from the community


Student intramurals

Student intramurals

Photos: student intramurals include Omnikin; Hoop dancing inside the RecPlex;

WINNIPEG, MB – When the University of Winnipeg’s new Health and RecPlex opened on Spence Street in September 2014, the goal was to create a welcoming, safe place where inner city youth, new immigrants and other community members could play, dance and meet for free. Over the past six months the community response has been resoundingly successful with approximately 1,000 people from the community now using the multi-purpose fields and community gyms every week.

Activities include a community powwow club that meets weekly, men’s soccer for newcomers, gym drop-in hours to shoot baskets, a flag football league and wrestling team for inner city youth, as well as martial arts programs and hoop dancing, among others.

“Community participation in the RecPlex has been a success in our first year because local agencies and organizations have worked cooperatively to create new and worthwhile programs,” said Dean Melvie, UWinnipeg’s General Manager of Athletic and Wellness facilities. “Now that a strong foundation of healthy partnerships and programs has been built, we intend to develop programming in way that will engage an even wider range of groups and individuals”.

Programming inside the Health and RecPlex is developed by the Community Access Advisory Committee and guided by a Community Charter which guarantees the neighbourhood free time inside the RecPlex.

Chino Argueta is Director of the Youth Agencies Alliance, and a member of the Community Access Advisory Committee. “It has been amazing to see the community take advantage of the Recplex. The success of the programs and activities is due to the commitment from all participants, and the support of community based organizations such as the Spence Neighbourhood Association to provide quality, accessible programming at no cost. Having 1,000 participants is a great accomplishment but the impact these programs have on individual’s lives is the true triumph. Now, we must continue to work together so that each year we are more effective so that our programs continue to meet the needs of the youth in Winnipeg.”

UWinnipeg students are also enjoying the new RecPlex and intramural and drop-in programs now include dodge ball, soccer, ultimate, omnikin, lacrosse, baseball, Danish longball, zumba and yoga classes. More than 200 students are participating in these activities on a weekly basis.

In addition, amateur sports organizations including the Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association Manitoba Soccer Association, Manitoba Organization of Disc Sports (ultimate frisbee), Baseball Manitoba, Sport Manitoba (track and field and baseball), Winnipeg Minor Basketball Association, Manitoba Table Tennis Association, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, among others, are renting RecPlex resources. Approximately 1,500 users from rental groups access the facility each week during fall and winter months.

hoop dancers

hoop dancers

“This hub on Spence Street is now drawing a whole new generation of youth and their families onto our campus. They have access to and enjoy a high-quality recreation and learning experience, and most importantly, they have a neighbourhood place where they belong,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg.

Find out more about the Health and RecPlex.


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Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7135, E:


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