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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Campus Guide: New features, options enhance the gym experience at the Rec Center

Grace Pierson
Grace Pierson / The Daily Wildcat Jennifer Conto (left), a psychology junior, and Cydney Mahieu (right), a public policy junior, work out at the Rec Center Monday afternoon. Conto’s new year’s resolution is to work out to maintain her shape, while Mahieu made a resolution to train for a full marathon in Napa Valley in September.

Editor’s note: This article is part of the Arizona Summer Wildcat’s 2014 Campus Guide. The Campus Guide is a special issue that runs every year to help introduce incoming students to the UA and campus life.

There will be considerable additions to the Student Recreation Center on campus this fall, which recreation directors say will appeal to a wider range of students. These additions emphasize program diversity and overall accessibility.

Whether a student is maintaining a rigorous workout schedule or is just looking to relieve stress after a long week of studying, the Rec Center can provide the facilities, programs and services that inspire participation and engagement in a multitude of areas and interests.

The Rec Center was founded in 1990, guided by the vision of a comprehensive recreation department, and has since expanded to the nationally-recognized UA amenity it is today. Founded on the premise of enlivening the campus community, steps have been made for this upcoming school year to appease a larger array of students by reaching out to the student body for feedback and ideas, directors said.

“Last spring, [the Rec Center] had an inclusiveness task force where we called together students and staff members from various organizations around campus to talk about how we can make sure the Rec Center is welcoming to everyone,” said Lynn Zwaagstra, director of Campus Recreation. “We have some specific take-aways from that meeting that we are hoping to debut in the fall.”

New additions to this year’s programs include the debut of new types of intramural sports and games, including a FIFA challenge to go along with other video game-related competitions, battleship and capture the flag. Additionally, tailgate week will include UA fan-favorite games like corn hole, punt pass and kick and other unique new options.

“We’ve had a big focus on partnering with the campus community on really trying to find out what the top programs and services are that people are interested in and how can we improve on them and provide information to the campus community that is meaningful,” Zwaagstra said. “We want our services to appeal to a broad base of people at the university.”

New services will be available as well, including free weight room orientation, where students will learn how to use the weight room. Smaller hand weights will now be available and have been strategically placed in areas students prefer.

The outdoor adventure program, which has grown exponentially since its introduction to campus recreation, provides students with various technical skills including rock climbing, canoeing and kayaking. This year, the Rec Center will introduce road bikes and mountain bikes to students and run biking trips throughout the year.

Additional services offered this upcoming year include personal training, group exercise, Fitness 2U programs and specialty classes that cover things like wellness, healthy eating, nutrition and cooking. These programs are available to encourage, educate and inspire members to be their best, the campus recreation website said.

Students should expect to see the same facilities, including the various weight rooms, like Bear Down Gym, the Challenge Course with low and high ropes elements, the pool, sand volleyball courts and the two recreation fields.

Campus Recreation made it a point this fall to broaden its intramural sports options to better accommodate a larger range of students with different interests and create a unique opportunity for members of the UA community to participate together in sports leagues and tournaments.

For many sports, there are league divisions for men, women and co-rec. Likewise, there are three intramural skill levels, ranging from students just beginning to highly skilled competitors. Students are encouraged to review these skill levels and choose the appropriate one for them before signing up. Any currently registered student or current faculty/staff member can participate.

“We really wanted to expand the gamut of opportunities where we can appease and appeal to everyone, not just competitive athletes,” said Natalie O’Farrell, associate director of programs at Campus Recreation.

In an effort to best accommodate students’ schedules, the Rec Center will also be extending its hours this fall and will be open until midnight everyday of the week, even on Sundays. The Rec Center will open Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to midnight, and on Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m.
Also coming in the fall will be a new fingerprint access system where students can gain entry to the facility and check out equipment by scanning their finger. This method is believed to be a much more reliable system for students using the Rec Center because students don’t need to have their CatCard anymore to access the weight room or check out equipment, directors said.

“We want to make sure campus rec is as accessible as possible,” said John Lloyd, associate director of facilities and services at Campus Recreation.

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