February 18, 2009

Recreation Center to show off programs, facilities

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- If you’ve ever wondered what boot camp is really like, wanted to learn a new sport, dreamed of dancing the night away, or wanted to improve your swim style, the Student Recreational Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is just the place to be Friday through Monday, Feb. 20-23.

“We’re highlighting a lot of the things the Student Recreation Center offers,” said Sally Wright, assistant director of Recreational Sports and Services at SIUC. “We have a long lineup of events and programs. This is a great chance for people to walk in and try things out.”

All day each day, Recreational Sports and Services will illustrate its environmental consciousness in two visible ways. Throughout the extended weekend, visitors to the Student Recreation Center can check out the Recreation Sustainability Poster at the Main Concourse. It’s a look at what the center is already doing and planning to do in the future to be environmentally conscious. The poster has been selected for presentation at the annual National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Conference in Charlotte, N.C., in April.

In addition, the Eco Bag Recycling Project is under way at the center’s equipment desk. Bring 20 plastic bags to the desk and receive a free eco-friendly reusable green bag.

Numerous other activities are planned in celebration of NIRSA National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day, including: salsa workshops and an interactive performance, wheelchair football with chairs provided, “real” boot camp ROTC workouts, new games, sample classes, and information about better health, fitness, and the many opportunities for recreation and health careers at SIUC.

Here’s a look at the activities SIUC’S Recreational Sports and Services is sponsoring in conjunction with the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association’s National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day, officially designated as Feb. 22. .

Friday, Feb. 20

• 2-3:30 p.m., Para-Olympian Jean Driscoll speaks in Davis Auditorium, Wham 105. Free presentation by the eight-time Boston Marathon winner, motivational speaker and advocate for people with disabilities.

Saturday, Feb. 21

• 10 a.m.-noon, Salsa workshop, beginner level, Court 3. Three-time ESPN Salsa World Champions Abel Pena and Zulmara Torres are the instructors and the cost is just $5, which also provides free admission to the Pena/Torres interactive performance that evening. To register for the workshop, call 618/453-2511.

• 2-4 p.m., Salsa workshop, advanced level, Aerobics Room. Pena and Torres are the instructors for this more advanced class too. The fee is $20 but also covers the cost of the morning’s beginner level workshop and the interactive evening performance. To register, call 618/453-2511.

• 6:30-8:30 p.m., Interactive salsa performance, Courts 1, 2, 3. Come see Pena and Torres in this performance, complete with audience interaction. Admission is $2.

Sunday, Feb. 22

• 2-4 p.m., Wheelchair football, Court 3. This adaptation of the all-American game of football is open to one and all. RSS provides the wheelchairs so everybody plays on an even field.

Monday, Feb 23

• 6-7 a.m., Workout at 0600, Court 3. Yes, you CAN see what a real Army ROTC workout is like. Here’s your chance to have an early morning strength and cardiovascular training session with the ROTC.

• 3-4 p.m., Wheelchair basketball, Court 1. Young adults with or without disabilities can compete in an instructional and competitive wheelchair basketball game. Open to all abilities and skill levels, wheelchairs provided.

• 3-5 p.m., Academic information, main concourse. Here’s your chance to find out about all sorts of careers in the health and recreation field. Meet professors and students from within a variety of majors including recreation, health, physical education and kinesiology.

• 3-5 p.m., Intramural Sports and Sport Club Expo, main concourse. Representatives from a wide assortment of sport clubs and intramural sports will offer information on the many options open to SIUC students in the way of fun and exciting RSS team sports.

• 3-6 p.m., QuickBall and Around the World, Courts 2 and 3. Intramural Sports hosts this fast-paced game of QuickBall, something akin to baseball and a home run derby. Afterward, play Around the World.

Body image awareness is happening concurrently on the main concourse. Representatives from the Wellness Center at SIUC will provide information about issues associated with body image and eating disorders, health nutrition and eating right and places to go for help with eating issues.

• 4-5 p.m., Workout at 1600, Martial Arts Room. For those who aren’t early risers, it’s another opportunity to experience the strength and cardiovascular training of an Army ROTC workout. If weather permits, plans call for an outdoor run too.

• 5-6 p.m., Drop-in swimming stroke evaluation, pool. Recreation center swim instructors will give free advice to swimmers of all abilities. It’s a chance to learn to be more comfortable in the water or improve your swimming movements for greater water efficiency.

• 5-7 p.m., Group fitness classes, Courts 4 and 5. Here’s your chance to sample a variety of different RSS fitness classes. See what zumba, hip hop, core, turbokick and much more are all about with these 20 minute classes.

• 6-8 p.m., Chair massages, main concourse. Relax and enjoy a free chair massage from the RSS massage therapists.

• 7:30-8:30 p.m., Healthiest Loser 500 Step Challenge, Court 4. This is the kick-off event for the new Saluki’s Healthiest Loser wellness program and competition. The program, created to help participants learn the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, will include 10 events throughout coming weeks.

Wright notes that SIUC is an institutional member of NIRSA, and many of the professional staff and graduate assistants are NIRSA members too. Dustin Soderman, a graduate student from Oshkosh, Wis., working on his master’s in recreation, is primary coordinator for the numerous National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day activities at SIUC.

Formed as the National Intramural Association Feb. 22, 1950, NIRSA boasts members worldwide dedicated to improving the quality of life and communities through recreational sports and intramural opportunities at universities, colleges, military installations, public recreation programs, correctional institutions and private and non-profit organizations. The organization celebrates its birthday each year with a day spotlighting the positive benefits of creational sports, fitness and wellness.

To find out more about Recreational Sports and Services at SIUC or the numerous NIRSA National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day activities Feb. 20-23, call 618/453-2511 or look online at www.reccenter.siu.edu.