Bowdoin athletics have a huge presence on campus in regards to the level of participation. With more than 30 varsity teams, a handful of club teams, and three levels of intramurals, there are plenty of ways to get involved. Additionally, there are about two dozen fitness and sports classes offered here. The sports teams are supplied with great facilities that feature indoor and outdoor tracks, fields for a number of different sports, weight-training equipment, aerobic exercise machines, and offices for coaches. The athletes are supported by high-quality coaches, a team of athletic trainers, and, of course, funding from the College. Students must be dedicated to their team and training if they choose to participate in a sport at Bowdoin, but the level of commitment is not as great as at NCAA Division I schools. Bowdoin athletes are able to maintain some balance of life, since they are regarded as students first and athletes second (at least in the eyes of the administration, though some coaches ask for more commitment), and no one comes to Bowdoin on an athletic scholarship.
When it comes to fulfilling the spectator role, Bowdoin students are not quite as gung-ho. Perhaps their love for being active and participating in sports themselves prevents them from sitting down to watch others’ games or competitions. However, certain occasions that bring together the most popular sports, such as hockey, lacrosse, or football, with the most popular opponents, most likely Colby or Bates, can unite the student body in cheering, jeering, and all-around rambunctiousness. The Bowdoin men's hockey game versus Colby usually draws the biggest crowd of the year and provides a wall-slamming spectacle for sports fans and book nerds alike. Normally, though, students are more interested in playing their own sports than in watching others. Overall, athletics at Bowdoin are great for students who are looking to stay active, improve their personal athletic ability, and have a team with which they have close ties. Participation in a sport requires committing a large chunk of time to training, but playing at Bowdoin can be a perfect arrangement for those looking to be a student-athlete.