Campus gamers come together to raise money for DC students

Durham College Recreation and Leisure Services students, (left to right) Sherall Semeniuk, Alexander Estrela, Scott Dean, Liam Thompson and Carly Hill at the Esports Arena. Photo credit: Courtesy of Alexander Estrela

More than 100 students came together to play video games at Durham College – but they weren’t necessarily there to kill time, beat their best score or simply hang out with friends.

In this case, the students raised $1,000 for a fund for DC Recreation and Leisure Services students to offset the cost of field trips. Some of the funds will be used for a two-day treetop trekking trip to camp Mini-Yo-We in September. The camp is located in cottage country, a two-hour drive north of campus.

Five second-year DC rec and leisure students hosted the fundraiser at the Esports Arena on Nov. 21 as part of a class fundraising project.

The budget for the event was $150 and the organizers had a goal to raise $500.

In addition, the extra funds will allow students to complete their program certification and training opportunities.

Students contributed to the fundraiser by paying $3 an hour to access the arena’s equipment, which included game consoles and high-end gaming PCs.

Students had the opportunity to win more than 100 prizes through game tournaments or raffles, which include game codes, gift cards and PC gaming components.

The prizes for the event were donated by sponsors, including the Pickering Town Centre, Cool Masters and multiple game developers.

Alexander Estrela, one of the student organizers, says they planned multiple activities for the fundraiser.

“The event held tournaments throughout the day which included Nintendo Switch games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Kart 8,” says Estrela.

Estrela adds the fundraiser partnered up with Durham Lords’ esports varsity team and ran multiple League of Legends tournaments, which included one-on-one and two-on-two tournaments for participants which were “a huge success.”

Estrela says they hope that success leads to this fundraiser happening again.

He adds this event wouldn’t have been possible without Esports Arena manager Sarah Wagg and the arena staff’s support, who helped with organizing.

Wagg says the rec and leisure students “no longer have a field trip budget, so they’re going to be raising a budget.”

Wagg adds the funds raised are going toward supporting future recreation and leisure students. This is to help offset program budget cuts and allow future students within the program to have offsite learning opportunities.