Although the fitness center is already well outfitted, the
increase in usage means it could benefit from some additional
features. Those include more open floor space for stretching,
core exercises and dynamic warm-ups; updated equipment; and
more (and quieter) weightlifting platforms. Since there is always
a waitlist for lockers, larger locker rooms are also on the wish list
for the facility. Those changes and others are being considered as
the university finalizes plans for the Warner Center renovation.
Schall said these improvements would better serve both
varsity athletes and the community as a whole. “Our athletes
work really hard, and they are some of the leaders of our student
body,” he said. “But if we can better serve them, hopefully it will
make it better for the general student body, as well.”
Another area that has seen significant growth is group
fitness. What started with a handful of classes 10 years ago has
jumped to 30 to 35 classes per week during winter, the busiest
season for indoor exercise. These classes include such offerings as
boot camp, group cycling, yoga and Pilates. Sticking with newer
fitness trends, the college also offers TRX, a combination of
yoga and Pilates called Pi Yo, and a dance workout called WERQ.
Instructors are all certified.
Of course, if a treadmill or exercise studio holds little appeal
on a nice day, eight miles of walking and running trails, including
the Woods Creek trail, beckon from the back section of campus.
The new third-year housing community, The Village, has put
more students on campus — and placed them closer to that
network of trails.
“It’s serving a really great purpose and getting used more
than ever,” Hathorn said.
The completion of W&L’s new natatorium may make it
possible to offer additional classes in the future. Although nothing
is set in stone, Kami Gardner, aquatics director and swim coach,
said the new pool would be ideal for water aerobics classes. The
pool is also used for scuba lessons, as well as canoeing and kayak
classes, and it may end up hosting fun student activities such as a
“It’s all in the works,” Gardner said, “and it’s all really exciting.”
The same can be said for the entire Campus Recreation
Program at W&L, which continues to evolve. As it is, Ellington
said, W&L’s program beats out those of many schools in the New
England Small College Athletic Conference, the group he most
often uses as a measuring stick for campus rec. Those schools
average far fewer sports clubs, intramural events and group
exercise classes than Washington and Lee.
On the day of Commencement, Diana Banks ’ 17 looked back
at what campus recreation meant to her during her four years of
college: “All of the recreation opportunities, with the exception of
intramurals, have been front and center in my college experience,
especially given that climbing became a club-like sport at the
beginning of my first year. I think these things are important for
all students to consider — not just for the variety and depth of
activities offered, but also for how they are received and utilized
by the students.”
For prospective students, campus recreation is increasingly
eye-catching. Ellington said the Admissions staff forwards him
emails every week from students and parents with specific
questions about how they can pursue a variety of interests when
they get to W&L.
“I think within the last decade there has become a better
understanding that those opportunities sway students in their
college decisions,” Ellington said. “Prospective students wonder,
what am I going to be able to do outside the classroom? What is
my experience going to be?”
Rose Maxwell ’ 20 and Will Roff ’ 20
make their way back to the campsite during the
Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation trip.
Students splash around in a game of
paddleball in the old swimming pool.
The university’s new pool, located in the new
natatorium, will allow Campus Recreation to
schedule more fun aquatics activities.