The University of Kansas

University of Kansas

The University of Kansas

Lawrence, KS


KU Recreation Services delivers opportunities and promotes lifelong wellness through programs, facilities and services to heighten the educational experience.


The Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center (ASRFC) has been home to Recreation Services since it opened in 2003. Expanded in 2008, the ASRFC has approximately 151,000 square feet of indoor space. In addition, Recreation Services manages an eight-field grass complex with one lighted turf field, a challenge course, two outdoor basketball courts, four tennis courts and four sand volleyball courts. The ASRFC has the following features:

  • 17,000-plus square feet of cardio and weights.
  • Six hardwood, high school-sized basketball courts.
  • Indoor soccer arena.
  • One-fourth of a mile elevated indoor track.
  • Studios: group fitness, martial arts, cycle and functional fitness.
  • Three racquetball courts, one convertible to squash.
  • Golf simulator.
  • 43-foot rock climbing wall with additional bouldering wall.
  • Outdoor equipment rental center.
  • Locker rooms.
  • Multipurpose, dividable meeting room.


Intramural Sports

  • We partner with local businesses to provide two Player of the Week concert tickets and two professional soccer tickets to intramural participants.
  • We host our Intramural Basketball Championship and Unified Basketball Championship Night at historic Allen Fieldhouse.

Sport Clubs

  • 31 sport clubs raised $257,939 in generated revenue this year.
  • Women’s soccer was crowned 2019 NIRSA Region IV North champions.
  • Ice hockey produced four Academic All-Americans.
  • Men’s rugby finished with an undefeated record before the season was cut short by COVID-19.


  • A total of five KU Fit instructors, providing online group exercise classes, participated in the 2020 NIRSA Rec Movement.
  • Over 85% of group exercise instructors have a national certification.

Personal Training

  • KU Recreation Services prepares students to sit for an NCCA accredited personal trainer certification by offering the ACE Personal Trainer Prep Course.
  • All KU Recreation personal trainers are certified through a nationally accredited organization or have successfully passed the ACE Personal Trainer Prep Course.

Outdoor Pursuits

  • 120 participants at Outdoor Pursuits climbing wall were belay-certified since August 2019.
  • Switched to inflatable kayaks because they are easier to transport than full-sized kayaks. Have had to add more to our inventory to keep up with demand.


  • Collaborated with Fitness and Wellness in creating a #RecEd social media and video series that helped members learn how to use the equipment in the functional fitness studio.
  • Began a video series that features KU Recreation Services student employees.


  • Completed in 2003 after a successful referendum in which almost 70% of voting students approved increasing their fees. The ballot stated this facility would be dedicated to student recreation only with no athletic events or academic classes to be held in it.
  • Expanded in 2008 with an additional 50,000 square feet of space.
  • Named after Dr. David Ambler, the vice chancellor emeritus for Student Affairs, who dedicated 25 years of his career to KU before retiring in 2002 and can be seen walking on the track every morning.
  • There have been six different versions of the iconic Jayhawk throughout history. The first in 1912 and last one in 1946 are displayed on the wall in the main gym, while each of the four courts are named after the middle four versions in 1920, 1923, 1929 and 1941.
  • Around 17,000 of 25,000 students access the Ambler in a given year.
  • Since its dedication, students have made the Ambler home to two class gifts: hardwood tree in 2001 and KU logo brick inlay on the plaza in 2008.
  • The Ambler is the location of the Class Legacy Walk where students or those wanting to honor a KU graduate can purchase a commemorative brick.
  • A 5,200-square-foot, limestone-lined rain garden is located near the entrance where 2,500 native plants from 18 different species help absorb water runoff from the roof of the 2008 addition before directing it into the drainage system.
  • The Ambler hosted the 2019 Granny Basketball National Championships.
  • Added intramural canoe battleship last year.
Brittany Howard
Brittany is an assistant editor at Peake Media. Reach her at

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