U health advocates create Web site to help students find new exercise partners

by Anna Weggel

First-year computer science student Rob Ford is looking for a break-dance partner.

Ford, who break dances, performs martial arts and does gymnastics, is hoping to find others who share his interests following a recent Web site post he made, he said.

Territorial Hall and Pioneer Hall health advocates created the site, called Rec Sports Hook UP, in late February to increase the activity levels of people living in the residence halls.

At the site, students can post their names and contact information, and list the activities and sports they enjoy. Other students can read the postings and respond if they have similar interests and want to join others’ activities.

“I have unusual athletic interests (such as) martial arts, break dancing and gymnastics,” Ford said. “I figured it would be a better way to meet people with similar interests.”

Ford said he would be willing to join anyone for most other sports, too.

“If you plan to meet someone at the (recreation center) on a regular basis, you have more of a motivating factor,” he said.

No one has responded to Ford’s postings, but he hopes to find people to exercise with eventually, he said.

So far, more than 30 students have made posts looking for people to join them in running, football, volleyball, basketball and more.

Territorial Hall health advocate Anna Lewis said she is happy with the number of responses the site has received.

“I’m really surprised at how much it took off since it’s so late in the year,” she said.

Lewis said health advocates plan to hand out fliers to promote their site and hope to continue it next year.

Marketing and entrepreneurial studies junior Mike Weber said he made a post looking for students to do nearly any sport, including wrestling. Weber even listed his weight, he said.

He said he recognized some names on the site, prompting him to post.

“(The site) was there and I saw somebody I knew,” he said. “It was easy; it took like three minutes.”

First-year student Marci Presser recently took her first step toward meeting new people on campus.

“I’ve just been really secluded for the whole year and haven’t tried to go out and meet people,” Presser said.

Presser, who posted several interests such as volleyball, received a response and hopes to soon make a new friend, she said.