Enhancing the quality of individual and collective lives

From visionary beginnings in 1968 and buoyed by a consistent record of innovation, the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies has long enjoyed a reputation for excellence placing it among world leaders in the field.

The University of Waterloo offered one of the first undergraduate degree programs in recreation and leisure studies including the first co-operative education program, as well as the first MA and PhD programs in recreation and leisure studies in Canada.

Our students are mentored by leading experts and have the opportunity to apply theory to practice as they are introduced to the study of recreation and leisure as a phenomena as well as the planning, delivery and evaluation of recreation and leisure services.

Through focus on community, environment, health and well-being, identity and diversity, and service and policy, our research strives to critically evaluate leisure in its diverse forms with a goal of enhancing quality of individual and collective lives.

The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our department is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometers on each side of the Grand River. As we continue to work remotely, we acknowledge that individual members of the department may reside on other native lands

Interested in working with us? See positions available.

  1. Aug. 24, 2022Equity, diversity and inclusion in curling and beyond
    Heather Mair, Peggy Vacalopoulos, Simon Barrick and Richard Norman

    Research in Waterloo’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies is making transformative change by identifying barriers that exist, helping to usher in a more diverse membership in a wide range of sports and recreation activities.

  2. Mar. 7, 2022Luke Potwarka researching Esports motivations and experiences
    Luke Potwarka with Esports collaborative team

    Luke Potwarka, Associate Professor in Recreation and Leisure Studies and Director of the Spectator Experience and Technology (SEAT) Lab, is working with a collaboration between University of Waterloo and the University of Warwick (United Kingdom). The collaborative team is focused on ways that Esports can contribute positively to student experiences, student learning, research impact, and community development in higher education. 

  3. Dec. 3, 2021Tre Ford receives top Canadian football award
    Tre Ford holding Hec Crighton trophy

    Tre Ford, a fourth-year Recreation and Sport Business student and Waterloo Warriors varsity football quarterback, received the Hec Crighton Trophy given annually to the most outstanding Canadian football player in university sports by U Sports, the national governing body in Canadian university sport. 

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