Changing our name and upping our game

You’ve probably noticed by now that (spoiler alert) the SERF is gone. Hopefully you’ve also noticed that construction on the new Nicholas Recreation Center (with four times more fitness space, an Olympic length pool, and twice as many courts) is underway. That tall column you’re seeing in front of the Kohl Center? Yep, you guessed it. That’s the elevator. Kind of a big deal since inclusion and accessibility are two of our biggest priorities with this new building.
By the time you come back from summer vacation, we’re hoping you see even more progress on your future favorite sweat spot. We’ll be dropping some more facts and timelines when you get back in the fall, but for now, know that the future of recreation on campus is moving right along.
While we’re talking about ch-ch-ch-changes, we wanted to give you a heads up that the new facilities aren’t the only things getting a facelift. A little over one year from now, we will be changing our name to University Recreation and Wellbeing. You might call us Rec Well. We’re fine with it. This means that if you’re rocking this whole “vintage” trend, you have one year to stock up on all the Rec Sports swag. Intramural Champion t-shirts, anyone?
We’re taking “sports” out of our title for a few reasons. First, we often get confused for being part of UW Athletics. While we love the Badgers just as much as you do, share many facilities with the varsity teams, and also have several national championships under our belt (#humblebrag), we are two distinct divisions on campus. The second reason we are dropping the “sports” title is that we are more than just sports, and we want everyone to feel like there’s a place for them here. We think recreation should feel accessible to everyone, and our name shouldn’t be a reason why people don’t participate.
As University Recreation and Wellbeing, we will continue to offer many of your favorite programs like fitness classes, personal training, intramural sports, sport clubs, and instructional programs. But we’re also pursuing new offerings such as e-sports, family and youth programs, group training classes, and an increased focus on outreach and collaboration with other partners on campus.
Our Director, John Horn, sums up the reasoning behind our future name the best:
In many cases, recreation can serve as a gateway to wellbeing. When you leave a place or activity feeling better than you did when you arrived – which is often the case with recreation – it’s a pretty good reason to return. Once you find something you like, or a group of people you enjoy doing it with, you have even more reason to keep coming back. Our vision is that eventually the healthy habits formed here on campus will become lasting lifestyles, and our students and members will truly be living our ‘PLAY HARD. GET FIT. LIVE WELL.’ mantra.
The official name change won’t happen for another year, but we couldn’t resist sharing this exciting news. Until then, we will continue to proudly serve campus as Rec Sports.