UA Campus Recreation will host a Jan. 19 ribbon cutting event at 2 p.m. to introduce its new studio and programs designed with University employees in mind. Speakers and presenters include Lynn Zwaagstra, Campus Recreation director; Harry McDermott, executive eirector of Campus Health Service; and Vice President of Student Affairs Melissa Vito.
Did you know Campus Rec:
- Offers massages
- Sponsors excursions into the Tucson area mountains
- Maintains a ropes and challenge course
- Staffs personal trainers who work with individuals and groups
- Also offers programs at the Student Union Memorial Center
- Collaborates with others on campus to offer themed cooking classes
It's undeniable: The Student Recreation Center has a reputation for primarily attracting undergraduates and student-athletes.
But a more expansive population of people do use the University of Arizona center, and a few new additions should make this more visible.
This month, UA Campus Recreation is introducing a new fitness studio and classes designed specifically with University faculty members, staff and graduate students in mind.
"We're trying to get people comfortable and familiar with the center by offering diverse new programs that inspire people to want to move more," said Mark Zakrzewski, the department’s associate director.
"We hope to have something for everybody. We think this will appeal to graduate students as well."
Like other recreational centers at campuses across the nation, UA's Campus Recreation has been working to expand offerings for a broader group of fitness enthusiasts, while tailoring programs for employees.
While this is not the first attempt Campus Recreation has made to target UA employees, it is one of the more organized and extensive efforts, Zakrzewski said.
The initiative is two-fold: to encourage employees who generally do not use the Rec Center to do so while also encouraging fitness and healthy lifestyles.
"It's an opportunity to connect with other colleagues on campus," Zakrzewski said. "Some of the best relationships can develop at the gym. The social component is a huge plus."
With the north-facing studio – the center's old weight room – comes a host of programs and services, including a shuttle and a "Working Professional Fitness Pass," allowing access to the new schedule of 25 classes. A one-day pass also is available.
Classes include Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, spinning, conditioning and weight training to be held at 6 a.m., 7 a.m. and noon. Also, the shuttle will run based on demand Jan. 17-27 and will pick up at the Student Union Memorial Center. Reservations are required by calling 520-621-0048.
"We even brought step back," Zakrzewski said. "It had been trending downward in the industry, but we have had numerous requests to bring and back, so we did."
In addition to classes, new program offerings include "Gingafit" and "Feldenkrais," a method used to release tension in the shoulders, neck, jaw and hands. Also, Tai Chi is now being offered at the Arizona Health Sciences Center library.
Employees need not physically visit the building, but can sign up for the working professionals pass online. Also, Campus Recreation is initiating a shuttle service from main campus to the center.
And Campus Recreation will continue its established partnerships with Campus Health Service and Life and Work Connections, whose staff participate in some sessions and facilitate certain appointments.
Additionally, employees will continue to have access to other Campus Rec facilities, classes, programs, personal trainers and other offerings.
"We're trying to take away any objection to coming," said Michele Schwitzky, senior assistant director for Campus Recreation.
Only thing left to do now is to find a workout partner.