Rec and Wellness create new virtual opportunities for students


Courtesy of GVSU. The Rec and Wellness center will open up again soon on campus, along with other activities for students

Zack Goodrow, Sports Editor

Since the suspension of fall sports for the 2020 season, the Grand Valley State University Recreation and Wellness Center has been hard at work creating safe activities for students to participate in. There have been changes to special events, club sports, and intramural sports this semester. Throughout the summer before students returned to campus, the Rec and Wellness department focused on their fitness activities being complacent with state and national guidelines for COVID-19. This includes expanding virtual activities to lessen contact between students, placing new cleaning and social distancing requirements, and training their staff and students on these new conditions. 

Club sports have been canceled for fall 2020. While teams can meet remotely and student-athletes won’t suffer any consequences from not participating, some teams can meet up to twice a week under special circumstances. While few clubs have decided to meet up again this semester, several have already decided to opt-out from activities. 

“Men’s rugby, ultimate frisbee, and golf have already opted out this semester,” said the associate director of Recreation and Wellness Mike Przydzial. “We are still waiting on a few clubs to get back to us as they may just delay starting back up activities until later in the semester.”

The fate of individual club sports will be decided by team presidents and student-athletes. Other activities available to the GVSU populous have already been approved and will start up shortly. The climbing center and recreation center will open up again soon on campus. Rec and Wellness will be offering virtual and contactless events in the coming weeks. 

RecFest 2020 will take place on Sept. 13 virtually. Students can use LakerLink to socialize with others who are interested in physical activities, find new opportunities to join club sports, or learn about future events to participate in. Some of these events include the GV Laker Strong Virtual 5k. The weekend of Sept. 18-20, anyone in the Laker community can run, jog, or walk their favorite 5k route and post it to the Lakers twitter page. 

Other events during the beginning of the fall semester include the GV Laker Strong Daily Activity Challenge. This event runs from Sept. 8 through Oct. 23. Rec and Wellness are challenging students to work out for 30 minutes a day and post their workouts to #GVLakerStrong. The department is also offering outdoor scavenger hunts through the end of September. Students can find QR codes hidden around campus that will lead to a link online for further clues to the next location. Rec and Wellness plan to update these during the coming weeks.  

All of these events put on by the Rec and Wellness department are safe and follow the university guidelines for COVID-19. They hope students will continue to stay active and socially connected even though they are distant. While club sports have been shut down for the remainder of the fall semester, some intramural sports are still available. Cornhole, kickball, sand volleyball, spikeball, tennis, and e-sports are all available to signup for on the Rec and Wellness web page. Normally it costs students $15 to join a league, but not this semester. 

“Two of our larger programs that typically charge students for participating, group exercise and intramural sports, are being offered for free,” Przydzial said. 

Group exercises that are available to students include yoga and kickboxing classes, zumba, and lifting sessions. In-person and virtual classes are offered to students. In this uncertain semester with little socialization and challenges of getting out and being active, the Recreation and Wellness department have been working hard to create opportunities for students. They will continue their work as the semester goes on and add additional events to their schedule for students.