Texas A&M Rec Center Moves Operations Online | Athletic Business

Texas A&M Rec Center Moves Operations Online

Many fitness facilities are finding ways to reach members while dealing with closures, but college rec centers are doing the same for their communities while students are sheltering in place.

One such facility is the Student Recreation Center at Texas A&M, which is leveraging its social media pages to give students and faculty the means to connect with the Rec from home, according to student newspaper The Battalion

“We’re really trying to transition a lot of things that Texas A&M Rec Sports is doing to online options so people can feel like they can still get the experience from their home,” communication manager Kelly Vondrehle told The Battalion

The facility’s fitness and wellness staff will be hosting multiple weekly workouts via Zoom, and sharing recordings of those classes via social media. Students can participate live by inputting their Net ID and password. Fitness director Anna Taggart said that with the exception of cycling, the class content will be similar to what’s typically available at the Rec.

“We wanted them to be as inclusive as possible, so our instructors are great about providing options in regards to equipment [needed],” Taggart told The Battalion

Meanwhile, intramural sports are turning digital as well by providing opportunities for esports. Assistant director of intramural sports Nick Heiar said that the challenge of not being able to provide traditional sports competitions forced his team to consider alternatives. 

“Everything we traditionally have done just doesn’t work in this context and environment,” Heiar said. “I think this was a prime opportunity for us to show our creativity and diversity in what we can offer.”

To that end, his department has opened up competition in esports for games such as FIFA, MADDEN NFL and NBA 2K. There are non-video game options as well, such as quiz-battles, a trick-shot competition and running challenges. Heiar said that despite the lack of physicality involved in certain contexts, the ability to provide social interaction during a time of general isolation could be beneficial for student mental health.

The goal of the new digital programs is to continue to be there for the campus community. 

“We want to give our students, faculty, staff and community some sort of normalcy,” Taggart told The Battalion. “If they’ve been continuing a schedule or they have a routine, we want to be able to continue to provide them that.”

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