67°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Why we should utilize recreational facilities at UMass Boston more frequently

UMass+Boston%26%238217%3Bs+Edward+T.+Barry+ice+rink%2C+located+in+the+Clark+Athletic+Center.
Josh Kotler
UMass Boston’s Edward T. Barry ice rink, located in the Clark Athletic Center. Photo by Josh Kotler / Mass Media Staff

On days where it gets to be as warm as 60 degrees while in the midst of nor’easter season in February, New England natives tend to get optimistic about spring coming early in the year. Then again, it doesn’t take too long for New Englanders to realize they live in a region where even Punxsutawney Phil would rather take the route of unpredictability than choose their answer based on whether they see their shadow or not. With that being said, it’s easy to jump the gun while having a glass half-full mentality regarding New England weather. I mean just look at the past couple weeks, our hopes of warm weather were shut down when 60 and sunny was followed by 25 and snow flurries. The same happened on Friday—ironically enough, I’m writing this while wearing shorts and a sweatshirt just a couple days away from six to eight inches on the forecast. 
Due to the element of surprise that mother nature has provided us this winter, there haven’t been many opportunities to partake in outside activities. Although we may have lucked out with a few nice days here and there during the last couple of months that allowed us students the opportunity to get some exercise outside, most, if not all, of us haven’t been able to go out and exercise.  Most would rather stay in, instead, because of the frigid weather. If anything, now would be the perfect opportunity to get some blood pumping in the facilities that UMass Boston has to offer, knowing that more snow and low temperatures are expected in the coming days or even weeks. 
Given the circumstances of cold weather on the horizon, implementing the use of UMass Boston’s recreational facilities into your daily routine can be both an awesome and fun way to stay in shape, especially during a time of gloomy weather and unbearable temperatures. Whether it be going to Clark Athletics Center between or after classes, or doing the same for the Beacon Fitness Center, UMass Boston has more than enough options when it comes to keeping your physical health steady, while also keeping your strength and endurance at a high. The best part about this is the fact that UMass Boston provides all these great services in the palm of your hand for free. The only stipulation is to sign up or sign in to your recreational portal on your UMass Boston account. Once signed up for an account on the portal, you can fill out a form at the Fitness Center, located on the first floor of McCormack. From there, you are good to go, and only have to use your Beacon Card to access all the facilities provided, free of charge!
Of course, most of you may already know about some of the services provided by the recreation department, whether it be open basketball from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every weekday, or the gym provided in the Fitness Center open from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays. However, it feels as if, given my experience of going to Clark myself, not many people know of other services the department offers. For example, both a couple weeks ago and even the same day I am writing this article, I found that there were only two people inside of the skating rink for open skating from 12 to 2 p.m., something that the department provides on both Mondays and Wednesdays. Then again, there is one trial and tribulation that stands for this benefit: one must bring their own pair of skates. Maybe having to provide your own ice skates has to do with the lack of people showing up for open skating, but even still, I was surprised to see only two people on the ice, while I know that some people may actually benefit from hearing this. I for one have always wanted to learn to skate for the sake of being able to play some outdoor hockey during the winter, something UMass Boston can now help me with by going to the rink two days a week. 
On top of open ice skating, I was caught off guard by the fact that the Fitness Center provides both racquetball and squash during the same hours the center is open on both weekdays and weekends. Sure, maybe ice skating or racquetball may not be your cup of tea, or maybe the hours are not suitable to your schedule here at school, which is why the recreational facilities provide an open gym at the Clark Athletic Center on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5-8 p.m. Students can take advantage of this opportunity to not only make new friends at these events, but also play other sports too, whether it be badminton, volleyball, table tennis, playing catch with a football or even baseball if you so freely choose to provide your own equipment. Open basketball runs on the weekends from 8-10 p.m. as well, but students can still bring their own equipment for playing catch if they wish. 
The bottom line is, I saw a lot more students take advantage of playing basketball or working out in the gym during my freshman year two years ago compared to what I see now. Although COVID-19 may have something to do with this, it is still vital to maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise at a consistent rate, all of which you can do while also making friends or engaging in some friendly competition with other students, if you wish to utilize the resources at your fingertips.
You can find all of this via the university’s recreational portal. Just sign into your account using your UMass Boston username and password to be provided with all news, events, facility hours and more from UMass Boston’s recreational team.

About the Contributors
Nick Collins, Sports Editor
Josh Kotler, Photographer