Now more than ever, university recreation centers are trying to discover unique ways to get students through the doors and engaged in programming. Activities like standup paddle boarding and battleship have become common features at many rec centers. Log Rolling is another intriguing program that is becoming increasingly popular at numerous university aquatic centers.
Log Rolling is not a new sport, but until recently the heavy wood logs made it inaccessible to many universities. In 2011 a family of world champion log rollers launched Key Log Rolling. They developed easily portable, synthetic logs hoping to give more people access to the water sport.
Wanting to get more students engaged in aquatic programming, Indiana University Campus Recreational Sports recently launched a Log Rolling program. “With aquatics it can be pretty difficult because most of our programming is instructional based, so things like swim lessons,” said Drake Belt, a graduate assistant at Indiana University. “We were really looking for leisure activities to get people into the pool so we can really engage with our students.”
Belt explained they have two lifeguards who are trained to instruct on the logs. The program is self-directed. During scheduled times, students can come by the pool and play around on the logs. For those who have never tried the sport before, instructors are available to teach them the steps.
Mastering the sport is definitely no easy task. “The biggest challenge for us was learning how to use the logs ourselves,” added Belt. “We were able to get the CEO of Key Log Rolling to come and do a presentation at our pool with us. It is important to really understand what the logs are and how they work. It is hard to just buy them, throw them in the pool and just start teaching. You have to learn how to work them yourself.”
The good news is the challenging sport seems to be a hit with students. According to Belt, feedback has been extremely positive. In fact, he hopes to expand the program in the future.
“We are using this semester as a pilot to see what things work, if there are things we need to change and gaging what the interest is like,” said Belt. “Our next goal would be to get a club started. It is nice to know that we already have five or six students that are already interested in starting that club.”
If you are interested in learning more about Key Log Rolling, check out their website here: http://www.keylogrolling.com