Come get a workout at the University

Jon Bradford rests whle watching the Cubs-White Sox game on the nine-panel TV at CRCE. While both CRCE and IMPE are places to exercise, they also have the ameneties to help students relax. Beck Diefenbach

By Erin Kelley

Gaining the freshman 15 is major concern when coming to college but with the Campus Recreation facilities on campus, it should no longer be a problem.

With the recent renovation to Campus Recreation Center East, student interaction has changed as well as how the facility is used, said Jayne DeLuce, associate director at Campus Recreation.

“It has become more of a student center, which was our intent,” she said. “Even though it is busy, the space is being more efficiently used.”

How students choose to use the facility is entirely up to them.Whether they want to come and hang out with friends, watch TV and check their e-mail or are there to attend a fitness class and run on an elliptical, there are plenty of more options.

The aquatics center has changed the most in usage, DeLuce said. There are more options available to students for therapy, using the waterslide or playing volleyball.

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A recent addition to the center is aquatic treadmills, which Campus Recreation is still using on a trial basis to see if they will be best used for informal recreation, fitness classes or during rentals by groups.

“It is the most ‘wow’ factor when people walk in,” DeLuce said.

CRCE offers three racquet ball courts, one of which can be converted to play squash.

At the old location, people never really knew they existed, DeLuce said, but now the courts are on the main floor and visible through glass walls so people are more inclined to try the sport.

Multipurpose rooms are available for fitness classes, which can be found at the Campus Recreation Web site.

There are a wide range of classes offered, from the more traditional kick boxing and step classes to the newer, interesting classes such as belly dancing and aquatics class, DeLuce said.

Students can try out as many classes as they want the first two weeks of each semester and then can buy an unlimited fitness class pass from the member service desk at CRCE.

The MAC gym opens new opportunities to students to play indoor soccer and dodge ball as well as basketball. Students can play basketball on one of the four courts that are open for pick-up games.

Upstairs, students can sign up for state-of-the-art cardio machines and or use the track.

Personal training is available at an affordable rate, DeLuce said. It is a good way to become oriented with the equipment or to learn how to properly workout.

The most important things to remember when coming to work out is to bring a valid I-Card and a hand towel, DeLuce said.

And be sure to visit in the morning or early afternoon, said Michael Trueblood, a student director at Campus Recreation.

“Faculty is still at work and students are either working or in class, so it is less crowded then,” he said.

Intramural Physical Education building, although under construction, is still open.

“For those people interest in lifting the best place to go is IMPE because it offers more free weights and weight machines,” Trueblood said. “It usually picks up around four in the afternoon and stays relatively crowded until 10 or so.”

The building is schedule to be completed in the fall of 2008 and will be about three times the size of the new CRCE building.

“It will be the largest single-use rec center in the country,” said DeLuce.

When the building is complete, it will provide students, faculty and members with a 42-foot climbing wall, eight multipurpose rooms, 14 basketball courts, approximately 160-seat auditorium, an instructional kitchen, two 50 meter pools – one indoor and one outdoor – a sixth of a mile track and a huge amount of fitness equipment, she said.

“To put it in perspective, there will be over 70 treadmills,” DeLuce said.

The auditorium will provide unlimited opportunities for group meetings, conferences, staff training, club gatherings, band performances and movie showings, she said.

The instructional kitchen will allow people to learn about healthy eating habits through classes offered.

“The one goal is for people to be able to learn about nutrition, personal train and take a swim all in one place,” DeLuce said.

Other facilities students should know about are the Ice arena, 406 E. Armory Avenue, where students can skate for free. They can also watch the 2005 National Champion Illini hockey team, play in a hockey league, rat hockey or broomball, or take a kinesiology class to learn how to skate.

The outdoor center includes lighted tennis courts, outdoor basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, soccer and football fields and an inline skating rink all located at Stadium and First Streets. There is also the outdoor facility at 51 E. Gregory that hosts outdoor adventure programs for students interested in taking trips such as horseback riding, canoeing or backpacking. They can also plan their own adventure and borrow equipment from the building.

The Illini Grove at Lincoln and Pennsylvania Avenues offers a picnic area, horseshoe pit, sand volleyball, basketball court and a pavilion that people can reserve.

Lastly, Campus Recreation offers Leadership and Team Building for Registered Student Organizations interested in trying some activities at the facilities, outside or at the climbing tower at Allerton Park to build leadership. It is a great experience for organizations going through an administrative change or interested in becoming closer as a group, DeLuce said.