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Campus recreation program branches out

October 7, 2010

Ryan McCallum is a busy man these days, keeping up with the tireless job of running a campus recreation program.

McCallum, an 11-year employee of the recreational sports department and current assistant director to the program, said that an effort is being made to implement significant improvements in an effort to promote the campus image.

“We are looking to make some changes in the way we run things,” McCallum said. “These are going to be some pretty cool changes.”

The recreational sports on campus have been called such since they came into existence at UW-River Falls. McCallum said that a big part of the changes being implemented have to do with the new name of the department: campus recreation.

“The thought process behind this was that we provide services and programs beyond just sports,” McCallum said.

The new name of the program, which went into effect this fall, is a way for the campus to branch out and include a broader range of activities, McCallum said.

“Campus recreation allows us to fully integrate the outdoor adventures and group fitness programs into what we do,” McCallum said. “While at the same time, we can still be faithful to our roots in intramural sports and sports clubs.”

In the efforts to promote well-being and healthy, active lifestyles on campus, McCallum said that the department will be attending conferences this year to better understand what other campuses across the country are doing.

“I will be attending a state conference in Stevens Point in September,” McCallum said. “The goal of attending these conferences is to meet people for the future.”

McCallum said he will not stop at the state level.

“I am hoping to go to New Orleans with a couple students in April to attend a national conference,” he said. “This would be a great way to put River Falls on the national map.”

According to UWRF intramural archives, students play on over 400 teams in 30 different men’s, women’s and co-recreational sports.

While student participation and activities grow each year, one student in particular has made a name for himself in the intramural and recreational sports department.

Senior Nicholas Wensits has been heavily involved in campus recreation and intramurals since he began his schooling at UWRF.

“I am very involved in our campus intramural program,” Wensits said. “I play and have a team registered in every single sport that is offered through the program.”

Wensits said that the games can be anywhere from messing around with some friends, down to serious, competitive business.

“Typically we have more fun with our co-ed sports and are a lot more competitive with the men’s sports,” Wensits said.

With the program under new direction, Wensits said that he is pleased with the way things are going thus far.

“I actually love the way the program is being run this year,” Wensits said. “The new rules and things that are in place, I think, only help our program be better.”

With McCallum suggesting and implementing changes in the program, Wensits said he feels like campus recreation is headed in the right direction.

“I believe McCallum is doing a great job,” Wensits said. “I look forward to the rest of the year with him.”

McCallum said that the department has taken on a new marketing campaign in order to promote itself to a larger audience.

“This includes a complete re-branding of the department,” McCallum said. “The new campus recreation logo is just the start of what is to come.”

With a grin on his face and a relaxed demeanor, McCallum said that this is the best fit job for him that he can imagine.

“I love what I do,” McCallum said. “I left this department for six months to pursue other opportunities and I came running back.”