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3 College Sophomore

Athletics: McGill is not an extremely athletics focused school, and varsity events are usually not heavily attended. The gym facilities are great though, and McGill definitely shows school pride in other aspects of student life. I know the university also gives out plenty of varsity scholarships.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Athletics are certainly there, but they aren't a huge part of campus life. Its really the best of both worlds; the teams are fairly good, well-equipped, and competently coached, but life doesn't revolve around sports.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: The gym and resources available for athletics is fantastic. I don't know much about the varsity teams themselves as it's not a big part of the culture.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: There are many clubs and sports you can do on campus. The facilities are good, but they can get crowded (as McGill is a big school). Staff are friendly and there are tons of new activities to try.

3 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: Athletics are not that important, but many students have competed in the Winter Olympics for skiing and Mike Babcock, coach for Canada's hockey team fir the winter Olympics, is an alum.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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As to be expected at a university with such an individualistic atmosphere, varsity athletics are not a focus of life at McGill. That being said, they are certainly there for those who want to get involved. Overall, games are not very well attended, with the exception of the occasional game against one of McGill’s rival schools, Concordia or Queens. These events attract much larger, much rowdier crowds. Intramural sports, on the other hand, are much more popular with students, probably because they require less of a time commitment. Intramurals also offer different levels to participate in, so they can range in degree of competitiveness from absolutely none to extreme intensity. The gym is nice enough, but can get rather crowded because of its relatively small size for such a huge student body. Membership for a semester costs $15. It also offers many different fitness and recreation classes to students every semester that range in price from about $20 for basic fitness and dance classes up to nearly $80 for special martial arts classes. There are also a number of athletic clubs, such as the triathlon and snowboarding clubs, that students can participate in as well.

Between varsity sports, intramurals, fitness classes, and clubs, students have a wide variety of athletic activities available to them. From traditional offerings like football and hockey, to slightly more avant-garde activities, such as inner-tube water polo and Quidditch, there is definitely something for everyone. Even if there is nothing that piques your interest on campus, Montreal has a lot of green space for a city of its size. It’s very easy to get in some physical activity by biking around town or jogging in parks or around Mount Royal.

Facts & Statistics

Athletic Division
Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS)
Athletic Conferences
Football: Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS)
School Colors
Red, white, and black
School Nickname
Martlet (Women) Redmen (Men)
Men Playing Varsity Sports
340 - 4%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
269 - 2%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Track and field
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Synchronized swimming
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
Club Sports
  • Cheerleading
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Triathlon
  • Ball hockey
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
  • Ice hockey
  • Inner tube water polo
  • Soccer (indoor and outdoor)
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Weightlifting
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • Forbes Field
  • McConnell Arena
  • McGill Sports Centre
  • Memorial Pool
  • Molson Stadium
  • Outdoors Tennis Courts
  • Tomlinson Field House
  • Tomlinson Hall
Most Popular Sports
Hockey, soccer, and football
Most Overlooked Teams
Some of the teams are pretty good, but it is hard to know when there's a game unless you know someone who is on the team. The games are free, and they're a good thing to check out.
School Spirit
McGill students are proud to go to McGill. There is an intense academic rivalry between McGill and University of Toronto, as the two schools shuffle between number one and number two spots on McLean's list for the top researching university. McGill students vehemently defend that not only are they academically superior, but that their campus and student body outweigh any advantage U of T may have. This remains to be seen, but there is a sense of accomplishment that most students feel by going to one of Canada's top universities. Another rivalry is between Concordia and McGill. Concordia is the other English-speaking university in Montréal, and many locals claim that it more truthfully represents the people of Montréal-whatever that means. Concordia tends to have more rivalry with McGill than the other way around, but there is a definite line of loyalty. As mentioned before, sports are not a huge deal here, but generally, any excuse for drinking and screaming at another group is welcome with open arms.
Getting Tickets
It's pretty easy to get tickets, and they're not too expensive. Hockey is the most popular sport, and you can buy tickets the night of the game.
Best Place to Take a Walk
Mont-Royal is the beautiful and forgivingly small mountain just behind the stadium. There is a fairly easy trail up it that starts at Mont-Royal Park, about a block around the corner from the gym. The park itself is lovely, with lots of grass to play a game of ultimate or soccer.

Student Polls

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 39 responses

  • 0% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.
  • 13% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 67% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 21% No one pays attention to varsity sports.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 37 responses

  • 30% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).
  • 19% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 51% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 0% Almost no one participates in them.

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 37 responses

  • 19% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.
  • 51% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 19% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 11% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.
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