At Campbell University, campus rec staff jumped right in when deciding to take their fitness programming virtual with a number and variety of options for participants. Some of their offerings include:
“I want to do a variety of things to make sure we reach a diverse group of people and personalities, because that’s what we always try to do,” said Cora-Ann Licwinko, the assistant director of fitness and wellness at Campbell.
Because many of her instructors are passionate about programming classes that rely heavily on music, such as Zumba, PiYo and POUND, Licwinko said they were able to offer private live classes to avoid legality issues. “These are also beneficially because live formats potentially offer more individualization and guaranteed participation from those tuning in,” she said.
Licwinko’s biggest advice for virtual programming is to just get started. “If you’re nervous, remember you learn by doing and you can grow from whatever your first posts and programs are,” she said. “Ask your students what they would like to do, get involved in or if they have any ideas. I plan on posting myself a few times, but what I’ve found is students love following their fellow students and this is a huge opportunity for them to grow outside their comfort zones, too.”
Because there weren’t a lot of great resources for college students that actually answered their questions about what they can and cannot do while social distancing, the Springfield College campus rec team created the Social Distancing FAQ Series, leading to an April Madness Social Distancing Tournament, to share on social media.
“We decided to host the April Madness Social Distancing Tournament after reading about a similar tournament at the University of Missouri-St Louis,” said Christine Johnston, an assistant director at Springfield. “Since Springfield College is such an athletic school, we knew our students were missing the traditional March Madness tournament and bracket competition.”
Johnston described how the bracket addresses things the students may be doing now. Each day, staff post two ‘matches’ or social distancing activities to their Instagram Story and the winner is determined by votes. Prizes will be provided to winners who submitted their bracket and earned the most points. Some of the social distancing matches so far include:
Along with something unique, Johnston said it’s important to also offer normal fitness programs if you can. “For example, we’ve moved our group exercise online to Zoom classes instead of in-person,” she said. “We’re also planning to ask our students what they are interested in doing. We know students have varying levels of other commitments, so we’re trying to offer things with different levels of commitment.”