Campus hub for club sports and intramurals opens at SquashBusters

Coed sailing club treasurer Annie Wieland, left, and president John Hughes, meet in the new team room at SquashBusters. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Club sports and intramurals now have a new home on campus.

The first floor of the SquashBusters facility on Columbus Avenue now features a newly renovated space—including a large meeting room, new offices, work-stations, lockers, and other resources—designed to support students involved in club sports and intramurals. Plus, it’s only steps away from Campus Recreation staff members’ offices.

Students and Campus Recreation leaders say the project meets a significant need, as club sports and intramurals continue to grow both in the number of students participating and sports offered. Some 1,600 students compete in 51 club sports, and 4,300 students participate in intramural sports. Club sports participation, in particular, has more than doubled since 2009 and increased by 80 percent among first- and second-year students since 2014.

Students can now use the meeting room to hold executive and team meetings, trainings for officials and supervisors, and strategic planning sessions. The new office suite features six computer stations and a television screen where students can also hold smaller meetings and trainings.

Now, SquashBusters serves as Campus Recreation’s primary hub for club sports and intramurals, said Pamela Wetherbee-Metcalf, senior associate athletic director for campus recreation and club sports. She underscored that club sports and intramurals are student-run and that students gain significant professional skills from their work leading these activities. That work ranges from coordinating travel, to creating meeting and training presentations, to building team schedules, to communicating with representatives from their leagues.

“The benefits of this new space will be significant for club sports and intramurals,” she said.

It’s also located adjacent to William E. Carter Playground, where Northeastern and the city of Boston have partnered to build a state-of-the-art athletic complex that will expand recreation opportunities for both Northeastern students and Boston residents. The new playground will serve as a vital space for club sports and intramurals.

A closer look at the new space

The large meeting room—dubbed the “team room”—can be split in two via a retractable wall. Student leaders in club and intramural sports can reserve the team room through their Campus Recreation staff. There will also be walk-in hours, typically in the mornings and early afternoons, when students can use the room for club and intramural planning purposes.

Students also will have access to a new outdoor workout space, featuring a range of functional training equipment such as tires, weighted sleds, suspension trainers, and battle ropes. That equipment is expected to be available in the coming months.

As part of the SquashBusters renovations, the lobby and vestibule were also relocated to the Columbus Avenue side of the facility, making the entry sequence more intuitive, with easier access to pick up and drop off for the Squashbusters community-based program. The renovated lobby also now includes a bay of lockers where club teams can store team supplies.

What students are saying

On Friday afternoon, coed sailing club president John Hughes and treasurer Annie Wieland met in the team room to catch up after winter break and discuss the priorities for the off-season before club sports activities start to ramp up again later this semester. Both hailed the benefits of having a dedicated home for club sports on campus. For one, Wieland said she expects club sports student-leaders will build greater camaraderie and collaborate more as a result of having a dedicated space to work.

“It’s a great place to bring prospective club sports members, too,” Wieland added. “It shows that the university really recognizes and values club sports.”

Fifth-year senior Blanche Lee, one of the intramural sports supervisors, also expects to be a frequent visitor over the next few weeks. It’s where she’ll lead trainings for officials before intramural sports get underway for the spring semester. “I think it’s great,” she said. “We didn’t really have a place to host meetings, so it will be nice to have some consistency and a place for intramurals to call home.”