Drexel’s Rec Center Pivots to Host Virtual Trainings and Sessions

A conditioning group exercise class taught on Zoom by Drexel instructor and alumna Johanna Burns. Photo credit: Bryan Ford.
A conditioning group exercise class taught on Zoom by Drexel instructor and alumna Johanna Burns. Photo credit: Bryan Ford.

Please visit the ‘Drexel’s Response to Coronavirus’ website for the latest information on campus preparations and responses regarding COVID-19.

By the time Drexel University’s campus closed March 20 to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus and adhere to statewide preventative measures, the team at the Recreation Center was already working together to virtually offer the same award-winning service and opportunities that would normally be found at the corner of 33rd and Market streets. Now, as of last week, a full roster of group exercise classes, training sessions, eSports events, town halls and other activities are scheduled to support Drexel students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members while they are safely working or learning remotely.

Using the “Instagram Live” feature on Instagram (follow @drexelrec!) as well as Zoom virtual meetings, instructors and other professional staff members will hold events for Dragons to tune in and work out (and ask questions, and participate in eSports tournaments). This will continue for the entirety of spring term, with news, events and other updates being announced on the Virtual Rec Center website. Schedules for about 30 or so group exercise classes each week will be updated on a weekly basis, so be sure to check every Monday.

“I know that the process of social distancing and socially isolating oneself has inherent challenges. Now more than ever, it is important for all of us to create opportunities that allow us to engage and interact with each other in order to take care of our bodies and minds,” said Director of Athletics and Carl R. Pacifico Professor of Neuropsychology Eric Zillmer, PsyD. “We are fortunate that, as a technological university that focuses on innovation as well as a national leader in fitness programming, we were able to create, in short order, a virtual gym, that allows our students, professional staff and faculty, wherever they might be, to participate and strengthen our University community as well as their identity as Drexel Dragons.”

In its first week, the week of March 30, the Rec Center hosted 29 virtual classes that required little to no equipment and were thus easily adaptable for those following along at home. Those classes were taught by Rec Center instructors included vinyasa yoga, Zumba and boot camp — all of which would be normally available in-person. Clients who had previously signed up for IMPACT group training can now participate in virtual Zoom small group training sessions.

Starting April 7, Dragons looking for inspiration or motivation while adapting to the changes in lifestyle brought on by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic can attend a Zoom chat every Tuesday at 6 p.m. with Coordinator of Climbing & Experiential Learning James Rogers, who will offer advice and answer questions.

In addition to providing its regular services, the Rec Center is trying something sort of new this term by hosting eSports tournaments on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and other platforms. In the past, Recreational Athletics had done limited eSports within its Intramural Sports offerings, and had actually been in the middle of moving the Drexel Esports & Gaming Association (DESGA) student organization over to be a club sport. Though that has now been paused, Recreational Athletics is still working with the student organization and will have additional tournaments with them.

 “Our focus within Recreation has always been to promote fitness, wellness, competition and togetherness,” said Assistant Athletic Director of Recreation Bryan Ford. “We’re committed to bringing those services to the Drexel community whether in-person or virtually.”

Now, more than ever, is the right time to make sure that you’re taking care of your health and well-being. That’s why the Rec Center is here to help — virtually.