By: Kaitlin Smyth
As the University of Mary Washington approaches the end of the school year, Campus Recreation (CREC) specifically is wrapping up the end of the semester with activities such as field day and outdoor bonding events with students and staff.
Faculty operations graduate coordinator Caleigh Pope was one of the staff members that organized field day, which will have socially-distanced games. The event will also be celebrating the achievements of seniors and sport clubs.
“I’m glad we’re able to do something for our seniors and amazing Campus Recreation staff who have worked so hard all year to keep all of our program areas running smoothly despite the hurdles the pandemic has thrown at us. While the awards are a small part of this event, I’m excited we’re able to host this field day to get staff and club sport participants outside and together. It’s just one way we want to thank them for all their hard work,” said Pope.
Despite staff meetings being held virtually, Pope reflected on how CREC has grown in terms of involvement and fun, as staff were eager to keep the fitness community united.
“This semester in particular, Campus Rec has hosted pop-up outdoor fitness classes and a campus-wide field day on the Campus Recreation Field with popsicles and yard games,” said Pope. “In terms of staff-fun, the fitness center staff have come up with creative ways to participate in team bonding events while remaining safe.”
Carolyn Rouse, CREC’s current graduate coordinator of sport clubs and intramurals, was also thrilled about how CREC grew in terms of sports clubs this year.
“CREC grew in terms of numbers of sport clubs, we have recently added the Running Club. We also have had a lot of clubs focus on team bonding and fun drills at practice since there are not any games to prepare for,” said Rouse.
To finish off the year, staff were able to enjoy their last bonding event outdoors with their co-workers. Sophomore marketing major and facility attendant Amethyst Ralls was one of the staff members to participate in the latest bonding event.
“Pre-COVID, the supervisors would create events to bond with their teams, but this past year we haven’t been able to do so,” said Ralls. “We did a field day and a picnic for CREC, but this was the first bonding event I went to, with all the new hires and new interns, we thought it would be fun to do something safe and fun outside. Many people from all areas of CREC ended upcoming and it was amazing. We went to Kenmore Park on a Sunday afternoon and played an intense soccer game. It was a blast, and I cannot wait for more bonding events for the CREC Fam.”
Senior political science major and CREC facility attendant Jake Phillips also enjoyed the bonding event.
“It was nice to have a team bonding experience with my co-workers,” he said. “Because of COVID-19, it is hard to get to know your co-workers outside of work. This past semester we were not able to do any team bonding experiences, [at least nothing] like what we had last Sunday, Phillips said about the soccer tournament the staff recently participated in at Kenmore park. Even though Covid-19 makes enjoying college a bit difficult, it was fun to forget about covid for a couple hours and just enjoy a fun game of soccer.”
Alex Sharpe, senior psychology major, shared her hopes for CREC for the upcoming year, as she will be the new graduate coordinator of sport clubs and intramurals.
“I want to focus on participation. With COVID being an issue for the past couple of semesters, I feel that people have forgotten all that Campus Recreation can offer,” she said. “Due to that, I really want to promote involvement and inform new individuals (both transfers and freshman) of all that can be offered within this active community. My main hope is that we have a lot of new joining members for all our diverse sports clubs, and some more participation when it comes to our [intramural] (IM) events.”
As Rouse prepares for her final goodbyes to Campus Recreation, she shared how CREC shaped her into the person she is today.
“CREC has had a huge impact on my college experience,” she said. “From the moment I stepped on this campus, I knew I wanted to be involved in the Sport Clubs which was in Campus Rec. Then I expanded into Facilities, Intramurals and Group Fitness. It has given me leadership skills through being an officer on club soccer and group fitness instructor, ways to have fun through intramurals, and then employment experience through facilities. I owe a lot of my personal growth to Campus Recreation and if given the opportunity to start my college experience over, I would get involved with Campus Rec again.”