U Rec Center offers variety of fitness facilities

by Fabiana Torreao

To all full-time students using the I-can’t-afford-to-join-a-health-club excuse: You’re already paying for a gym membership.
All full-time students pay for a membership to the University’s recreational sports centers through mandatory student services fees.
Now either take advantage of it, or find a different excuse for not staying in shape.
The Department of Recreational Sports offers six facilities, including two recreation and fitness centers, an aquatic center and a field house.
Located on the East Bank, the University Recreation Center is the most popular of the six facilities.
With two fitness centers and gymnasiums, 14 handball and racquetball courts and five international squash courts, the Rec Center attracts up to 4,000 people a day during the winter months.
Another popular facility is the St. Paul Gymnasium. Located on the north portion of the St. Paul campus, it offers students a number of facilities, such as fitness-equipment areas, a suspended track, handball/racquetball courts, an eight-lane swimming pool and an indoor rock-climbing wall.
The University Aquatic Center houses various swimming pools, including a diving well, a shallow water activity pool and a 50-meter-by-25-yard swimming pool.
An indoor track, tennis courts and basketball courts are found at the University Field House.
Students can also play sand volleyball and broomball at Cooke Hall, which houses two gymnasiums.
Depending on the season, students have access to outdoor facilities for soccer, sand volleyball and tennis.
Most facilities are open from 5:45 a.m. to 8 p.m., with limited hours during vacation periods.
Eligibility for membership depends on the student status. Full-time students pay for their membership through student services fees and have access to any of the recreational-sports facilities.
Part-time students, distance education students, faculty and staff members, University alumni and family members of all students can purchase a semester or annual membership.
For more information about the facilities, services, hours of operation, location and membership, visit the Recreational Sports Web site at http://www.recsports.umn.edu.