On Wednesday, Sept. 6, the New Balance Student Recreation Center at the University of Maine celebrated its 10th anniversary. The nearly 40 spectators made up of students, faculty and campus leaders congregated to reflect on its past and look forward to its future.
After a brief introduction by Jeff Hunt, the director of campus recreation, President Susan Hunter and Vice President of Student Affairs Robert Dana were called upon to speak and memorialize the occasion.
Dana spoke first, reflecting on the process of building the rec center.
“In 2006, we broke ground,” Dana said. “Our idea was that we are going to make this the best project in the history of the University of Maine.”
While there is no quantitative study to tell if this is true, it is clear that the rec center has become an integral link between the university and the community. Dana, however, gave a great deal of credit to Kenda Scheele, the associate vice president, for pushing for a rec center back in 2006.
“It may seem like a univariate idea, but in fact it buoys up the entire university,” Dana said. He believes that students who are more involved, whether it be through clubs or fitness, tend to be more successful.
Following Dana’s speech, Hunter expressed her excitement in reaching this landmark.
“This is a milestone in the history of the University of Maine thanks to all who have contributed to this success,” she said. “I am a true, unabashed fan of the student Rec Center. Physical fitness is an important part of my life.”
“The Rec Center is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, facilities at the university,” Hunter said.
Since opening the rec center, there have been over 1.4 million card swipes into the establishment and over 160,000 students have been involved in intramurals.
Hunter then went on to introduce Exercise is Medicine (EIM), a new campus-wide program that promotes physical activity before the use of prescription medicine.
Exercise is Medicine was originally co-launched by the American Medical Association and the American College of Sports Medicine in 2007. With 50 EIM centres across the globe, their goal is to make the proven benefits of physical activity the first step in medical treatment all over the world.
Hunter’s speech ended with her signing the proclamation that officially announced UMaine as a school that practices Exercise is Medicine.
After the ceremony, the audience socialized while eating the provided refreshments and read literature on the EIM program. The one mile walk led by Hunter, originally intended to be held outdoors, was rained out and moved inside to the track.
The rec center plans to continue celebrating its anniversary on the 10th of every month by giving away raffle tickets and free passes to the rec center and Maine Bound, and offering free group drop-in classes.