Brown University

Brown University

 Brown University

Providence, RI


Brown University Recreation is a part of the Department of Athletics and Physical Education. Brown Recreation is responsible for the Group Fitness Classes, Instructional Programs, Intramural Sports Program, Club Sports Program, Personal Training, General Recreation Program, and management of the satellite fitness centers and Olney-Margolies Athletic Center known as the OMAC.

Brown University Recreation prides itself in providing something for everyone. Our qualified staff is committed to excellence and is attentive to the developmental needs of the Brown community. We work to promote and advance healthy lifestyle choices through participation opportunities, educational experiences and supportive services. All programs are designed to maximize participation and accommodate a wide range of interests and abilities.


The Nelson Fitness Center a large state-of-the-art recreational fitness facility that opened in May 2012. It features a 10,000 square foot multi-purpose fitness loft with more than 85 cardio machines,12000 lbs of free weights, selectorized equipment, functional training/stretch area, and 3 fitness studios (including a dedicated spinning room.) The facility also features dedicated locker rooms for Male and Female faculty, general use locker rooms for Male and Female students and staff, a gender-inclusive, accessible locker room, and a social space in the lobby that includes a cafe.

The Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center opened in May 2012 . The pool is 56 Meters in Length x 25 Yards in Width, & most of the pool is 7-9 ft deep. The diving well is 13 ft deep. The facility has a seating capacity for 400 spectators & a state of the art video HD scoreboard. For the summer months, the pool is set up 3.5 days long course & 3.5 days short course. During the academic year, the pool is set up for short course only. The pool is typically separated into three different “pools” with movable bulkheads. The “shallow” is most often used for Rec Swim, while the “Middle” & “Deep” pools are used for a combination of swim programs & Rec Swim.

The Olney-Margolies Athletic Center (OMAC) is an 86,000 square foot facility that was dedicated in 1981 and houses many Athletics coach & Recreation staff offices as well as an indoor track. For recreational use we offer: 8 Lane Sprint and 6 Lane Running Track, 3 Basketball Courts, 2 Volleyball Courts, 2 Badminton Courts, 1 Aerobic/Dance Studio, and Men’s & Women’s Locker Rooms & Showers. The third floor of the Pizzitola Sports Center houses the Kate Brodsky Memorial Squash Pavilion. A nationally ranked squash player while at Brown, Kate Brodsky ’90 passed away in her freshman year at the University. The Pavilion named in her honor houses five international glass back squash courts, bleacher seating for up to 200 spectators, and individual court scoreboards. Brown Recreation’s indoor tennis courts are located on the 4th floor of the Paul Bailey Pizzitola Memorial Sports Center, which was officially dedicated in April, 1989, in memory of Paul Bailey Pizzitola ’81. The four tennis courts are housed under a fabric roof, which is made of teflon-coated fiberglass, a translucent material. Additionally, Brown Recreation has two satellite fitness centers located within the residence halls. These facilities are furnished with treadmills, ellipiticals, spin bikes, free weights, and selectorized equipment. They also feature stretching areas and multiple televisions.


The Department of Athletics and Physical Education offers over 75 group fitness classes per week in the areas of aerobics, fitness, and mind/body. Our group fitness Program averages around 3,000 participants per year. Personal training at Brown offers tailored fitness training for individuals or groups. We have both professional and students trainers and instructors and all are certified by nationally recognized organizations and are qualified to offer safe and effective instruction.

The Instructional Programs offer students and Recreation Members small-group instruction in a variety of recreation and leisure activities. The classes offered in the program are progressive in nature, and meet for several weeks during the semester. Brown’s Intramural Sports Program consists of 25 structured athletic opportunities in a variety of team, dual, individual, and special-event programs to over 4,000 registered participants within the Brown Community. All Brown University and RISD students, faculty, and staff may participate in the intramural program.

Brown’s Club Sport teams offer students a higher level of competition than on-campus intramurals provide, without the rigorous time constraints required of varsity sport student athletes. The Club Sports program comprises both well-established, highly competitive clubs and a second group of sports either in their nascent stages or for which the University offers a varsity program. There are 33 Club Sports teams that service over 1,000 student athletes. Most Club Sport teams compete extensively in extramural competition, and many hold memberships in athletic conferences. Club sports at Brown are student organizations sustained through the leadership and interest of students with the assistance of the Department of Athletics and Physical Education.


The Aquatics and Fitness Center

  • Is 94,000 square feet and covers 7.5 acres
  • Has the largest hybrid solar-powered electrical and heating system in the United States, first ever at a university and is on target for LEED Gold certification
  • If stood on one end, is as tall as one of the tallest buildings in Providence, the Omni

The Nelson Fitness Center

  • Has over 4000 square feet of dance and fitness class space
  • Has 10 locker rooms with 280 individual lockers
  • Gives a new home to the cupola and clock tower that once sat atop Marvel Gymnasium

The Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center

  • Has a pool larger than a standard Olympic pool
  • Is lined with 1 million tiles and holds over 1 million gallons of water
  • Is wakeless –  a diver can hit the water at one end of the pool without creating a wave anywhere else
  • Is heated by solar panels

The Garonzik Fitness Area

  • Has 85 pieces of state of the art exercise equipment
  • Has over 12000 lbs of free weights
  • Includes machines with individual touch screens that can receive cable and internet


  • The Recreation Department services over 11,500 students between Brown and RISD and close to 5000 active members
  • The facilities average 40,000 entries per month
  • We launched Innosoft Fusion in August 2016 and now offer both in person and online registration and payment options for better customer service

Fall Club Sports

  • Sailing – Louisa Chafee ’14 recently competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics – Lindsey Baab ’18 finished in second place at the New England Women’s Singlehanded Championship – Women’s Sailing earned 3rd place at the College Sailing Women’s Singlehanded National Championship
  • Men’s Club Basketball – Currently ranked 6th in NCBBA
  • Shotokan Karate – David Uriona won the National Title in Advance Kata (Fighting) and 2nd in Men’s Collegiate Advanced Kumite (Fighting) –  Anton Tekheriadov placed 2nd in Men’s Intermediate Kata (Forms) and 2nd in Men’s Collegiate Intermediate Kumite (Fighting)
  • Rugby – Earns the 1st overall seed going into the Spring Semester. As the #1 seed, Brown Rugby will have to host the Ivy League Tournament set to take place April 2nd, on Marvel
Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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