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The Mass Media

UMass Boston’s Recreation Department celebrates sports and fitness

Illustration+of+UMass+Boston+students+participating+in+skate+night.+Illustration+by+Eva+Lycette+%28She%2FHer%29+%2F+Mass+Media+Contributor.

Illustration of UMass Boston students participating in skate night. Illustration by Eva Lycette (She/Her) / Mass Media Contributor.

On Friday, Feb. 24, UMass Boston’s Recreation Department celebrated “Recreational Sports and Fitness Day.” Recreation Day, which takes place every year on Feb. 22, was first introduced by the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association in light of its 50th anniversary on Feb. 22, 1999. The event celebrates the approachability of physical activity for colleges and institutions (1).

Morgan Tullar, Manager of Fitness and Wellness for UMass Boston, oversaw the event and shared that the department intended to “showcase all the different factors that go into recreation like moving your body, free food, free fitness classes and ice skating.”

The event provided some much-needed Friday night activities as students relaxed before the weekend. Even though the event was only advertised through a Wednesday morning email, the turnout was strong. Many peers caught up with friends on the court and on the ice.

Since athletics finished their winter season, the department had the opportunity to use both of these facilities in the Clark Athletic Center for students to enjoy. Upon entering the gymnasium, basketballs and volleyballs were ready to use. The hoops on the sidelines held congregations of students playing horse—a popular basketball game. Pairs of friends patiently waited for their turn as they coached each other and tried their first shots. Additionally, nets for badminton were set up around the gymnasium and plenty of friends enjoyed a quick game.

“I like that there [were] so many different people here enjoying the different activities. That was the goal of this event, showcasing everything that we have to offer. Trying to serve every student in what they are interested in,” Tullar said.

At 7:30 p.m., Fitness Instructor Chetana hosted a beginner Body Weight Blast Class, while the popular Pop Pilates Dance class by Berline took place at 8:30 p.m.

These instructors regularly host afternoon classes in the Beacon Fitness Center. Berline hosts Pop Pilates Dance from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. Chetana hosts Interval Training from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Students gathered around the instructors and the instructors guided them through the movements. Even fellow recreation staff enjoyed the class as they supported Chetana and Berline.

In fact, recreation student staff made the event possible. From the front door where they checked students into the lobby to the activities inside where they served popcorn, student-staff provided a safe space for the students. They also helped students find events in the gym and gave out skates in the ice rink.

Public skate had three waves of skating from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. While some defied the laws of gravity by running into each other and hoping to stay in control, more experienced skaters lent helping hands.

Tullar noted that the event was brought to students through the collective effort of the staff in the recreation department. The biggest helping hands included Matthew Lee, manager of Intramural Programs and Informal Recreation; Andrew Castagna, manager of Recreational Programming and Member Services; and Joe Pagliarulo, director of Finance and Recreation.

After covering women’s basketball and ice hockey through the beginning of the semester, the event put me in the shoes of an athlete. It made me realize how hard it is to get one basket in and gain speed on the ice. Furthermore, it attracted all students to the facilities and gave them an opportunity to shoot hoops and skate.

“Plan to see stuff from us at least once a month during the semester,” Tullar noted. “We typically do three to four big events per semester. For instance, last fall we had Clark After Dark and Rec the Halls. We will be doing a basketball tournament soon called the little Little East Conference,” a play on words from the Athletic Conference name. Tullar also commented that, “Later on in the year we will partner again with other departments for more events and ‘Welcome Week.’”

(1)https://nirsa.net/nirsa/discover/rec-day/#:~:text=This%20day%20soon%20evolved%20from,that%20keep%20us%20moving%20forward.

About the Contributor
Valentina Valderrama Perez, Features Writer