Before officially opening the Fletcher Fitness Center in 2018, Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) selected Matrix Fitness for the facility’s equipment supplier. That decision is continuing to benefit University Recreation (UREC) today.
“The user-friendly aspect, quality and durability of each piece of equipment have kept our members coming back for daily exercise and contributed to their overall positive experience with the Fletcher Fitness Center on the HSU Campus,” said Chantelle Lancaster, the director of the Fletcher Fitness Center.
To assist other professionals in their research of quality equipment, Lancaster shared more on the beneficial partnership with Matrix Fitness below:
Campus Rec Magazine: Can you share what makes HSU special?
Chantelle Lancaster: HSU is a community dedicated to providing excellence in education enlightened by Christian faith and values. It is a privilege for me to be a part of a community where we can walk alongside each other and continue to share in our faith. HSU is a tight-knit community where we can build personal relationships with our students in the classroom and through various campus activities. It’s also rewarding as a staff member to get the opportunity to develop close and meaningful relationships with other staff across campus.
CRM: Describe The Fletcher Fitness Center. What are some of its key highlights?
CL: The Dr. Jesse C. and Dorothy J. Fletcher Fitness Center is a 35,000-square-foot facility and was completed in 2018. The Fitness Center sits in a centralized location on campus, making it easy for students to congregate for daily recreational use. Every space of the facility is utilized, including a multipurpose indoor soccer field, recreational courts, elevated indoor track, the Human Performance Lab run by HSU’s Department of Kinesiology and our newly renovated outdoor heated pool.
Another highlight is the layout of the fitness equipment. The cardio machines which overlook the football field, free weights and selectorized strength equipment are separated into different zones throughout the facility, making it user-friendly and safe for all members. The open floor plan allows members to see the facility with one glance and soak in the entire recreational experience.
CRM: How has campus recreation evolved at HSU since you’ve been there?
CL: When I arrived at HSU in June 2018, the university was in the process of building a new recreational facility and revamping the department. Before that, UREC had a small 1,500-square-feet space dedicated on the second floor of the Athletic Mabee Complex, which served as the campus fitness facility with roughly only 21 pieces of fitness equipment. Since then, UREC has grown in all aspects of recreational amenities: adding a new facility, remodeling the outdoor recreational pool, quadrupling new pieces of fitness equipment, implementing membership sales, increasing student staff and professional development, and extended in all aspects of intramurals, fitness and wellness programming offered to our HSU Community.
CRM: How has a partnership with Matrix benefitted your recreation department and your members?
CL: Exclusively selecting Matrix Fitness for our equipment upon the grand opening of the facility in 2018 was a slam dunk for UREC from both a partnership and user side. Immediately walking into the facility guests are greeted with customized purple and gold fitness equipment with HSU’s logo prominently displayed on each piece. The customizable equipment adds the “wow” factor when our members enter the facility, leaving them eager to try the different types of equipment. Members also enjoy the smart screen displays on the cardio equipment that allows them to log in to their personal accounts and watch Netflix, scroll through Facebook, track their daily activity via MyFitnessPal and many other apps.
Matrix Fitness has also benefitted the recreation department tremendously from a customer service standpoint. The Matrix South Central Territory manager, Bret Lyon, has taken great care of us since the equipment install in 2018. Any time we’ve had a service issue with a piece of equipment, it has been fixed or replaced in a timely manner. Responses on questions related to equipment, new equipment quotes and other services needed are always handled with a prompt response from Bret, followed up with a solution. Matrix meets all expectations when it comes to customer care and building meaningful relationships with their clients.
Bret Lyon and Matrix National Sales manager Marc Loomer have been huge advocates for UREC and have done an exceptional job keeping our equipment in top condition for our members.
CRM: In what ways have you found to best engage your students at HSU when it comes to recreation and wellness?
CL: It starts with finding out what the students want and offering those recreational services through our department if we can. We’ve found here at HSU that if we can stay and keep up with the current trends in recreation our students tend to stay more engaged with the different programs we offer.
In the past few years, there has been a shift in wellness to focus on mental health. At HSU, we’ve teamed up with University Counseling Services to offer different events such as a health and wellness fair, yoga classes, destress festivals, and other mindful activities. These offerings line with what best meets the needs of today’s students and are usually well-attended.
Continuing to pour into our students and remain open to their feedback and suggestions have allowed us to stay engaged in fulfilling their needs.
For more information, visit matrixfitness.com/us/eng.