Information for

The Campus Athletics Research Network (CARN) is currently involved with the following projects:

Alumni giving and varsity athletics

This project aims to determine the various factors that influence an individual’s decision to give, as in a monetary donation, to the Varsity Athletics at the University of Waterloo. Specifically, Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour will be used to understand this type of giving behaviour. The hope is that this study will provide insight into alumni giving behaviour and allow for more effective communication and marketing efforts.

This project is currently in its initial proposal stage, with hopes of soon beginning the data collection process following ethics review.


Kelly Harris, Undergraduate Student, Recreation and Leisure Studies

Lifelong longitudinal runni​ng ​project

This research examines issues related to running and physical activity over people’s life spans. We believe that impacts of sport participation don’t cease immediately upon graduation. In order to track life-long impact of sport participation on fitness and well-being, we’re surveying former varsity cross country athletes from several universities, including UW.

Data will be used to test models related to how people maintain physical activity regimens (or not) over their adult lives. Research questions include: What factors contribute to people’s personal involvement with running? How are physical activity, program, equipment, service provider and event loyalties developed over time and do ego involvement and psychological commitment influence this developmental process? Do social worlds moderate relationships between leisure involvement and loyalty in these contexts? What roles do running and physical activities play, if any, in athletes’ post-university lives? To what extent are involvement and commitment with running gendered? What social psychological and health-related benefits and negative impacts are associated with running and physical activity over a lifetime?

The first paper generated from this project (in review) suggests that former varsity cross country athletes participate in running at rates over six times that of the general Canadian population. Their manifest loyalty takes many forms ranging from favourite courses to favourite running partners and competitions. Most respondents who ranged in age from mid-20s to mid-80s continue to self-identify as runners. Although identity manifestations were consistently high throughout the sample, Canadian respondents seem somewhat more likely to identify with the activity (running) and American respondents more likely to identify with their university.


Mark E. Havitz, Professor and Chair, Recreation and Leisure Studies

Julia Manzo, Undergraduate Student, Recreation and Leisure Studies

Wade Wilson, PhD Candidate, Recreation and Leisure Studies

Wing Ka Tsang, Undergraduate Student, Recreation and Leisure Studies 

Campus recreation participation, alumni giving, and academic performance

Using secondary data analyses of University of Waterloo students, this project aims to explore the extent to which participation in intramural activities translates into future alumni giving behavior (i.e. monetary donations) and heightened academic performance.  The results of this project may signal the importance of promotion and continued development of Campus Recreation within the University's strategic development priorities.

In collaboration with the University of Waterloo’s Campus Athletics and Recreation Department, Registrar’s Office, and Office of Alumni Affairs, the research team is in the data procurement stage and soon will be moving to the data analysis stage of the project.


Wade Wilson, PhD Candidate, Recreation and Leisure Studies

David Drewery, MA Candidate, Recreation and Leisure Studies

Jason Coolman, Alumni Affairs

Cynthia Breen, Alumni Affairs

Mark Walker, Registrar’s Office

Joanne Voisin, Registrar’s Office

Move your mind

This program aims to increase students’ quality of life by promoting and creating wellness opportunities for everyone on campus. This new initiative by the Department of Athletics and Recreation intends to create a diagnostic tool to connect students that have been “prescribed” recreation by their physician with the programs and services that meet their unique interests and needs. Campus Athletics Research Network (CARN) has taken on a principle role in the development of this diagnostic tool, assisting with survey design, pilot testing, and implementation of the instrument. Eventually, this diagnostic tool will be accessible to all students as an online survey that will make program recommendations based on the user’s personality type and current interests.


Kelly Harris, Undergraduate Student, Recreation and Leisure Studies

Krystal Kowalski, Athletics and Recreation

Donna Rheams, Athletics and Recreation

Mark Beadle, Health Services

Association of moral disengagement, passion, emotion, competitive anger and aggression with attitudes of using performance enhancing drugs in competitive sport

This PhD dissertation project is looking at aspects of moral disengagement in sport and how they might influence athletes’ attitudes towards using performance enhancing drugs in sport. Other factors of competitive anger and aggression, passion and selected emotions will also be investigated as factors that may associate with moral disengagement in sport and impact attitudes towards performance enhancing drugs. Participants in this study will include male and female varsity athletes that play ice-hockey, basketball, and volleyball from four universities in Southern Ontario. Additionally, participants will also be male and female Intramural athletes participating in the same sports. This project is currently in the data collection phase, with an anticipated completion date set for late summer 2013.


Wade Wilson, PhD Candidate, Recreation and Leisure Studies

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Contact CARN

Luke Potwarka, PhD

Assistant Professor, Recreation and Leisure Studies

Marc Iturriaga

Associate Director, Campus Recreation & Business Development

Funding opportunities

Funding for CARN is required to help sustain the viability of these projects. Funding helps to subsidize equipment costs, research resources, co-op students, graduate students, and to aid with knowledge transfer and translation initiatives.

If you are interested in helping fund the Campus Athletics Research Network please contact Wanda Deschamps, Director of Advancement.