Staff and directors recently held events throughout the day to celebrate the success of the Student Recreation Center since it opened five years ago on the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Dahlonega Campus. The official anniversary for the opening of the facility, better known to students as "the Rec," was Oct. 12, but the celebration kicked off Friday, Oct. 11, to help students, faculty and staff participated in the fun.
In celebration of the anniversary, music exclusively from 2008 – the year the Rec opened – resonated from the patio in front of the building, where, Derek Leonard, director of recreational sports, and some of the student staff members served refreshments to passersby. Inside, trivia and raffle drawings for Nike, Starbucks and Jolie Day Spa packages were open to patrons, while desk clerks gave out trinkets.
Leonard talked about how recreational sports and facilities have grown in the past few years.
"We've tried every year to stay on the cutting edge of fitness trends across the nation," Leonard said. "We are very in-tune with going to conferences and surveying students about their interests. We have a partnership with the Student Government Association where they allocate us a certain amount every year to demo and purchase new equipment. The newer technology reaches students who may need more or different motivation than traditional bike and treadmill users. All trainers and Group X instructors are also certified through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America."
The Rec's first priority, as Leonard elaborated, is meeting the needs of students, but it is also open to faculty, staff and community members. Any paying member can access the state-of-the-art equipment and attend group exercise classes.
Leonard added that in 2013 a five-year plan was created for rec sports across all campuses.
"Currently, on the Gainesville Campus, there are plans to expand the fitness center; they'll be renovating the building and adding new equipment," he said. "They are increasing their Group X class offerings and intramurals as well. The future is also bright for sport clubs; we would love to have chapters of women's volleyball and men's and women's rugby down there, too."
Recreation options are also increasing on UNG's Oconee and Cumming campuses.
"We're starting gradually at Oconee; we do have intramurals and we're looking to start Group X classes. The biggest obstacle there is space. With the Cumming Campus being so new, we have tried to make the facilities on other campuses as accessible as possible to those students until we can determine the best strategies to reach that campus. We anticipate having programming very soon on all four campuses."
All information about intramurals, rentals, fees and more can be found at http://ung.edu/recsports.