Need to burn some extra calories? Tired of studying and want a healthy diversion? Played sports in high school and want to stay in shape in college?
If any of those apply to you, then RecSports may have your answer.
UT’s RecSports department focuses on keeping students fit and engaged with exercise and sports while in college. The programs vary, with offerings ranging from intramurals to outdoor adventures.
Facilities, programs offer opportunities for fitness
RecSports offers plenty of programs and opportunities for students to stay fit while at UT.
TRECS, UT’s massive recreational facility, houses a large amount of exercise equipment, places to play sports and more. According to RecSports’ website, TRECs main fitness area has “over 80 pieces of cardiovascular and over 100 strength training stations, which includes a variety of selectorized and free-weight equipment.”
Along with TRECS’s extensive lineup of equipment, the facility also houses multiple basketball courts and an indoor track. Outside sits the student aquatic center, which includes two Olympic-size swimming pools, showers and lockers, and fields used to play sports including flag football and soccer.
“We feel RecSports’ fitness initiatives serves the campus community as a ‘stress relief’ resource, and to build social engagement,” RecSports Fitness Program Tee Ezell said. “The fitness program serves as a way for students to get involved, develop friendships, relieve stress, and to be a part of an upbeat and inspiring atmosphere.
“All RecSports’ staff strive to provide creative and positive outcomes for our participants.”
The major fitness programs that RecSports offers students are for personal training and group fitness, as well as wellness. The group fitness initiative includes over 100 classes, ranging from fusion, yoga and battles ropes, each semester. The personal training program is a paid service that pairs students with one-on-one instructors.
Free fitness assessments are also provided by RecSports during the year’s two semesters.
“Friendships have been formed as a result of participation in our fitness programs and individual health and well-being have improved as a result of our program offerings for participants,” Ezell said. “Our fitness programs have been designed to provide our participants with the time they need for ‘self-care.’”
“Our participants look forward to having that block of time out of their day in which they can fully focus on themselves and disconnect from their outside stressors,” Ezell added. “Participants have also expressed that they are thankful to have a placed to go to that is a welcoming environment.”
Intramurals keep former athletes, newcomers in the game
For those looking for a more competitive sports experience while at UT, intramurals may be the answer.
RecSports hosts 50 annual individual and team intramural sports ranging from basketball to soccer to flag football to softball and just about everything in between. Tournaments are held throughout the year for various sports, with some featuring “seasons” that go from the “regular season” all the way to the championship game.
Intramurals also offers employment opportunities for students. RecSports hires students for multiple jobs including keeping score of intramural games, officiating them and supervising the sports as they are played.
Mario Riles, program director for RecSports’ intramural division, said that the purpose of intramurals is “to provide an outlet for students to participate in organized recreational activities in a fun, competitive, and safe environment.”
“Participation in intramural sports can be an integral part of a student’s well-being,” Riles said. “Some of the positives/benefits include opportunities to be physically active, great way to network and meet new people, excellent leadership opportunities, amazing stress reliever, and chance to just have fun."