Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 1. 1962.
Your Physical Welfare
Your Physical Welfare
Most first-year students will be familiar with the booklet "An Introduction to the University" in which a brief description is given of the provisions made by the University for the physical education of its students. I am still occasionally surprised to meet students in their final year of study who are unaware that a very full programme of physical education and recreation has been offered to them free of charge for over two years. The number of students so uninformed is happily diminishing and, with the prospect of the first complete year in which the fine new gymnasium will be in operation, I am confident that our splendid facilities will be fully taxed.
Despite inadequate facilities, there has over the last few years been a slow but steady increase in the number of students who have recognised that good health is a valuable asset and have taken steps to prevent the success of their studies from being nullified by poor or indifferent health.
Practically every British university and university college now has staff and facilities for physical education as a vital part of student welfare services. In all these universities, as well as from experience In our own, it has been recognised that whereas physical ill-health among students is no greater than among any other comparable section of the community, there is a greater incidence of emotional stress. It is generally agreed too, that this threat to the mental health of students can be dissipated by ensuring a better balance in the interests and the demands that face them in their life at university.
Recreation is not the complete answer, but rest assured that your stay at Victoria will be much more valuable to yourself and your future occupation if your physical education has kept pace with your mental growth. Some of the factors which have contributed to the anxity states noted among university students are lack of adequate recreation, insufficient social contact among students, overloaded syllabus, and frustration in the absence of immediate and tangible rewards.
We now have the facilities to counteract the effects produced by lack of adequate recreation. We have the buildings and the trained staff to promote and encourage the development of fuller social contact among students. We can, through the teaching of new skills and the varied physical education programme, provide enjoyment and personal satisfaction that should alleviate the tensions that follow long hours of unrelieved study.
The vitality and strength of any university service or department in the final count rests with the student. The Union Buildings and Gymnasium, which you are now privileged to use, are there largely as the result of student effort and enthusiasm. If they are to fulfill the hopes of our earlier students you must use them well.
There are many recreational activities conducted within the University. Some are sponsored and run by students themselves and many student clubs have had a long and distinguished (even notorious) past. Their history reflects the efforts and achievements of past students and in many cases can be viewed with some pride. Each year, however, their existence is for a short time threatened as new students decide where their interests lie. When large numbers of freshers give their support to none of the clubs, then the quality of our University life is weakened. The Physical Education Department has given assistance to a number of the student clubs, but its real concern is with the health and welfare of all students and attempts to meet the needs of any student or group of students who seek help or advice.
Finally may I suggest in this issue of "Salient" that you visit the gymnasium during enrolment week and Orientation Week and, after discussing your programme with the Physical Education staff, you enrol for such classes as your time and interests dictate. Remember, the choice is wide, the classes are voluntary and it is all free.