A core value of the University of Montana (UM) Campus Recreation is engaging students where they are.
GrizGo, a pop-up fitness program tailored to individual groups at a time and location of their choice, does just that. The idea for the program was sparked by requests from housing resident assistants who wanted to offer fitness classes to their students on their floor.
At the same time, Andi Armstrong, the assistant director of operations and marketing for campus recreation at UM, started noticing how popular local pop-up shops and classes were. “I wondered if other campus recreation departments addressed that trend,” she said. “After a little research, I discovered that Virginia Commonwealth University rec sports offered some formally established pop-up fitness programs for their campus community, including mobile chair massage and private group exercise classes.”
A benefit of offering a pop-up fitness program is the convenience, not only for those participating, but also for the instructors. “We can offer more hours to instructors who want to pick up another class here and there,” said Armstrong. “It’s flexible and not a major commitment – plus, they might gain new participants for their regular classes.”
Examples of pop-up classes the GrizGo program has made possible include OULA dance parties in the residence halls and a series of gentle flow yoga classes for the UM women’s soccer team. “The team was in the midst of winter and spring lifting and conditioning, needing something to help them relax and stretch,” said Armstrong. “Chris Citowicki, the head soccer coach, said they absolutely loved it.”
Making your campus community aware of the fitness offerings at your rec center can be much more than marketing and waiting for them to come to you. A pop-up fitness program eliminates the wait and helps your department further promote a healthy and active community.
“There’s a bit of additional oversight in terms of promotion and scheduling instructors and facilities,” said Armstrong. “Overall, it’s easy and a way to reach a broad range of groups on campus, including some who may otherwise not try fitness programs classes.”