Throughout the semester, Drake Recreational Services has been offering both in-person and virtual programs for fitness. Following Drake’s announcement regarding classes being online for the rest of the semester, Drake Rec followed suit. The Bell Center has closed for the remainder of the fall semester, but virtual opportunities are still available.
The in-person experience at the Bell Center looked different than usual this semester. Kacie Rewerts, a freshman employee, helped members follow COVID-19 procedures.
“The Bell Center required reservations, which were found on their website, before you came in for the certain station that you wanted to work out at,” Rewerts said. “When you reserved a station, you had to stay at that station and were not allowed to go anywhere else unless it was reserved by you and then a staff member would then clean it. Masks were also required at all times.”
Along with wearing masks, temperatures and health screenings were taken before a member could enter the facilities.
“I thought that the Bell Center did a great job of handling the circumstances this semester,” Rewerts said. “They made a plan and stuck with it.”
The in-person activities offered throughout the semester were fitness classes, intramurals with limited contact, aquatics, golf and weight lifting stations. These have all been cancelled, but virtual activities will continue through winter break.
Virtual activities will include trivia, eSports, social media challenges and trick shot challenges.
Lisa Murphy, director of Recreational Services, said that the lack of in-person classes will not stand in the way of offering a wide variety of virtual classes for students.
“For Group X, we will still be offering on-demand classes for you to take whenever and wherever you would like,” Murphy said. “There will be directions on how to find these classes on our social media pages, as well as fitness challenges and tips to help you with your wellness journey.”
A new activity for students participating at home will be the trick shot challenges. Participants will be featured on the Drake Rec’s Instagram page.
“With students having more free time than normal, we are hoping they want to participate and show off their cool trick shot videos,” Murphy said. “This virtual program will start in the near future on Instagram (@DrakeRec). Other virtual intramurals can be found through the Drake Rec App or at imleagues.com/drake.”
If the Bell Center is able to reopen for in-person classes this spring, visitors can expect COVID-19 protocol to function much like it did during the fall semester.
“I would say that we will at least start off the semester using the same reservation system, but we are constantly reevaluating what we can and can’t do,” said Drew Dunlay, assistant director of Recreational Services. “We want Drake students, faculty and staff to be safe when they come into our facility. The best way we can do that right now is with our reservation system.”