Category: Uncategorized

Sport Clubs — On the Road Again!

The Campus Rec sport clubs wasted no time once the off-campus travel restrictions eased thereby permitting some opportunities to compete and compete they did.  Last month we highlighted one of our students who cashed in for gold at the national championships for cycling.

Let’s shift back to the AVP Grass Nationals held in Greenville, SC on October 1-3.  Our women’s volleyball club entered several teams in the doubles volleyball tournament.  Julia Houghton and Mia Wooden claimed 2nd place in the women’s B division.  Not far behind in 3rd place was another CofC team, Sidney Hillhouse and Jazmin Brown.

Julia Houghton and Mia Wooden captured 2nd place in the AVP Grass Nationals Women’s B division.

It is not uncommon for players in these tournaments to play between 10 and 13 games per day.  Keep in mind that the great majority of training that our team does is for the 6v6 indoor season.  Transitioning back and forth in these two play formats is difficult.

Also worth noting is the Madeleine Ellegard and Dallas Bryson duo.  They scored a 9th place finish in the more challenging BB women’s division.  This was Dallas’s first time on grass.  Twenty-seven teams rounded out that bracket.

Adversity is one of those buzz words used in sports.  The ice hockey club enjoys putting on a golf tournament each year to help fund some of its ambitious goals.  This year all 72 spots were sold and included a couple of sponsorships to boot.  As luck would have it, a weather front clamped down on the entire Eastern seaboard and washed out any chance of playing.  While their enthusiasm may have been splashed, they quickly regrouped with the plan to play in early spring, something Charleston is famous for.

The crew club too faced a bit of adversity in its quest to attend the Head of the South, one of the large regattas hosted each year in Augusta.  Did we say large?  Well yes, 681 entries among the 63 clubs in attendance is quite large, but to row you have to first get there.  The 60′ boat trailer wasn’t going far on two bald tires.  Fortunately, the dad of one of the club members was doing the driving and got it there and then coaxed the pros from Firestone to work a little magic late on a Friday afternoon.  The rest was easy.  The club racked up several medals and had a great time being able to escape the campus in well over a year.

Those wins were:
Gold and silver in the varsity men’s lightweight single.
Silver in the varsity women’s championship double.
Silver in varsity men’s quad.
Gold in the varsity women’s quad.

Sporting some new hardware won at the Head of the South regatta.

The women’s soccer club drove up to Columbia on November 14 to take on a strong USC team.  Well this time USC got the better of it, but one of our players, Eden Kirn had a marvelous outing scoring twice.  Her two teammates, Sarah Khantzian, in goal, and Jenny Sella both showed strong defense and helped to keep the score close.  In truth all the players had good games, and that is said with considerable assurance since soccer is undeniably the sport where all 11 must play well together.

The men’s soccer club posted a 2-1 victory over the Citadel in a match held over at Patriot’s Point.  Details were rather spotty given the post game celebration.

There are other reports to be made but let’s save something for next time including details of the men’s rugby club playoff game this past weekend.

CRS “Play in the Park Day”

One of the more extensive events Campus Recreation Services organized as part of the College’s Weeks of Welcome program was the “Play in the Park Day” held at the James Island County Park on Saturday, September 25.

Students on the archery course.
CofC students try their hand at archery during Play in the Park day at the James Island County Park.

Eighty-seven students participated during the day by climbing at the 50′ climbing wall and bouldering cave, trying to cross the Catwalk and the Leap of Faith on the high ropes course, testing their marksmanship on the archery course, and getting out on the lake to stand-up paddleboard.  In between were chances to play outdoor games such as sand volleyball, 2 v 2 soccer, spikeball, horseshoes, Connect 4, and several others.

As an added convenience, the James Island County Park staff ran a shuttle service that 50 of the students took advantage.  The first activities began at 1 p.m. and by 6 p.m. most were satisfied to call it a day.

The most common question heard throughout the day was, “When are you going to do this again?”

A number of other photos that captured students having fun at this event are available at the College Today: https://today.cofc.edu/2021/10/01/college-of-charleston-photos-of-the-week-93/.

 

Cyclist’s Dream Comes True

College of Charleston student, Dyllon Gunsolus, realized a young boy’s dream when he too stood on the medal stand much like his cycling heroes only this time in Indianapolis at the USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships.

For a better retelling of the tale, read Dan Dickison’s story in the College Today, https://today.cofc.edu/2021/10/05/cofc-student-wins-national-cycling-championship/.

Photo of Dyllon Gonsolus
Dyllon Gunsolus showing medals he won at the 2021 national championship.

An Undiscovered Gem? Your Charleston County Parks

Many of you recently moved to Charleston and are seeking fun things to do in your new town.  If you haven’t had the chance to visit one of the Charleston County Park facilities, don’t let that opportunity slip by.  There are parks on James Island, Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston, West Ashley, and Johns Island, but there is so much more.  Numerous recreational and instructional programs are also offered.

Spend a few minutes on the Charleston County Parks website to get a better idea of what appeals to you.  Whether it is taking your dog to one of the best dog parks in the area, learning a paddling sport or how to climb, participating in the triathlon sprint series, or joining in on a bird walk, this program is sure to offer something of interest that helps you appreciate this really is your new home.

Crew Club Adds Two to All-American Teams

 

June 11, 2021

The announcement of the ACRA All-American awards for rowing is eagerly anticipated at this time of year and the College of Charleston’s club team scored two on these coveted teams.

The American Collegiate Rowing Association is a national association of member schools that stretches from coast to coast and includes many of the bigger schools.

Liza Romanova, the current captain of the club, placed on the first team of the Academic All-American Team.  A GPA of 3.85 or higher is required for consideration.  Only 60 rowers achieved this distinction.

Ally Lesher, a senior and former captain of the squad, earned a spot on the All-American Team based on rowing performances, career results, and coach recommendations.  Only 17 rowers made this year’s women’s team.

Both rowers deserve a rousing round of applause for this latest recognition and their long-standing efforts on behalf of our club team.

The full press release can be accessed here:
ACRA All-American Academic Awards 2021
ACRA All-American Awards 2021

52% of Charleston residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park

The Trust for Public Land continues to do some amazing work and is nearing its 50th year in existence (1972).

Of the many interesting details they are involved with, this one caught our eye.  Over half of Charleston residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park.  How fortunate we are.

The link provided will allow you to follow your own initiative in finding things of importance to you.  One recommendation is to look at the map provided, and of course, you can look at other cities as well.

Give it a good look.  Better yet, why not walk to one of those nearby parks and recreate?

Charleston, South Carolina | The Trust for Public Land (tpl.org)

Sense of Belonging and Other Social Outcomes Tied to Frequency of Use at the George Street Fitness Center

Introduction

If you spend any time at all on a college campus you are sure to hear talk of learning and other developmental outcomes that occur outside of the classroom.  Is this just idealistic banter or is it possible that some of this learning does take place, and of all places at the George Street Fitness Center (GSFC)?  You may be delightfully surprised by the findings of a recent investigation.

Having previously examined College of Charleston students enrolled in our group fitness classes and finding measurable improvements in various components of physical fitness, it was time to direct attention to another side of student wellness, that belonging to the social domain.  Intramural sports and other fitness programs offer an important avenue for student interaction. This interaction can translate into strong development of social skills, integration into the university and even a higher retention rate among students that frequently participate in these activities (Belch, Gebel and Maas, 2001).

What prompted this investigation was a disappointing finding that over several semesters a large number of students visited the GSFC just one or two times over the course of a semester.   For the first seven weeks of the spring 2021 semester, 1119 different students visited the GSFC.  Of this total, 430 students came just once or twice during these first seven weeks.

That statistic begs the larger question about what is lost for those not returning.  Does participation in the activities at the university fitness center help shape certain social-emotional outcomes that are considered critical in one’s personal development?  Moreover, is there a difference to be found between groups based on their frequency of use of the university fitness center?  Sense of belonging, social bonding, self-confidence, and the ability to interact with peers were among the 10 social behaviors compared.

Belch, H.A., Gebel, M., & Maas, G.M. (2001). Relationship between student recreation complex use, academic performance, and persistence of first-time freshmen. NASPA Journal, 38(2), 254–268.

 

Analysis

Email surveys totaling 1008 were sent to the population of students, N=1119, who visited the GSFC at least one time from the start of the spring semester through February 28.  The returned surveys, n= 110, equated to a 10.9% return rate.

The survey contained 17 questions, with numbers 1-13 using a 5-point Likert scale for scoring: 1= strongly agree, 2= agree, 3= unsure, 4= disagree, and 5= strongly disagree.  Questions 1-10 focused on the individuals’ social attributes, questions 11-13 evaluated the respondent’s connection to the university and the GSFC, and the remaining questions asked for personal information.

Table 1.  Survey Questions.  n=110. Mean SD
1.  The George Street Fitness Center, or GSFC for short, helped me create a strong emotional tie at the College of Charleston. 2.91 1.09
2.  The GSFC is essential in creating a social bonding experience. 3.15 1.20
3.  I feel more responsible toward the College of Charleston as a result of my participation at the GSFC. 2.95 1.19
4.  My ability to interact with new people improved as a result of my participation at the GSFC. 3.24 1.23
5.  My overall happiness improved largely due to my participation at the GSFC. 2.06 1.07
6.  My self-confidence improved as a result of my participation at the GSFC. 2.02 0.99
7.  My leadership ability improved as a result of my participation at the GSFC. 3.25 1.09
8.  My trust in peers increased due to my participation at the GSFC. 3.11 1.06
9.  Participation at the GSFC improved my sense of belonging here at the College of Charleston. 2.71 1.14
10.  My overall college experience has been enhanced as a result of participation at the GSFC. 2.29 1.10
11.  The GSFC was a major attraction when choosing universities to attend. 3.59 1.20
12.  I have considered leaving the College. 3.88 1.31
13.  One primary reason I have not left the College is the GSFC. 3.89 1.03

 

Measure 1:  The null hypothesis was there was no difference between the population mean and that of the sample group for each of the 10 social outcomes listed in the survey.  A t-test was run for each of the survey questions.   The alpha level for determining significance was p<.05.  The degrees of freedom= 109.   Calculated t-scores above 1.99 permitted the null hypothesis to be rejected.

Of the ten questions related to social behaviors, these four outcomes showed a significant increase attributable to the students’ participation in activities held at the GSFC.

Question
Social Outcome
t-score
Question 5 overall happiness. -9.19
Question 6 self-confidence. -10.44
Question 9 sense of belonging. -2.67
Question 10 overall college experience. -6.74

 

Measure 2:  Is there a difference in these social outcomes between the two user groups based on frequency of use in such a short period?  From the population of infrequent users, those visiting 2 or fewer times, N=430, a sample group was formed from those returning a survey, n=42.   The frequent users group was set using 10 or more visits for inclusion.  The population for frequent users with 10 or more visits, N=310, allowed the formation of a sample group, n=45, from those returning a survey.

“Sense of belonging” was the item that held the most interest to this investigator.  Did it differ between the two groups?  A statistically significant result was found for “sense of belonging” for the frequent users group (M=2.22 , SD=0.927 ) compared to the infrequent users group (M=3.29 , SD=1.24 ), t(85) = 4.56, p<.05 indicating the frequent users had a stronger “sense of belonging” than did the infrequent users group.

These other social behaviors were compared between groups and showed statistically significant results with the frequent users scoring higher on these items.  The alpha was set at p<.05.  The degrees of freedom were 85.  The critical t-value used to reject was 1.99.

Question Social Outcome
t-score
Question 1 strong emotional tie. 3.60
Question 5 overall happiness. 4.66
Question 6 self-confidence. 4.71
Question 8 trust in peers. 4.00
Question 9 sense of belonging. 4.56
Question 10 overall college experience. 4.56

            

Conclusion

Perhaps the term “Center” has dulled over the years to the point it simply means another facility.  The GSFC is in every sense a center of the campus world for numerous students who avail themselves of its opportunity for activity, fun, and fitness, and in return, their personal “center” is enhanced.  The data quantify something that for the most part persons were left to comment using broad generalizations.  Now it can be said with greater confidence that a number of social development outcomes found within our student base are improved through their active participation at the GSFC.  It also leads to a goal to redirect our infrequent users to the GSFC in hopes of helping them gain that sense of belonging.

How COVID Impacted Physical Activity Levels in 2020

As we start to see a glimmer of hope that the despair and catastrophic loss caused by this dreadful virus is on the wane, national associations are beginning to quantify and report the impacts along various segments of our lives.

Last March, groups such as our campus recreation program were all trying desperately to find ways to continue to offer programming, especially fitness programming, using a largely untried virtual format.  While we improved considerably in our delivery since that time, did it help persons during this period?

Recent research by the National Recreation and Park Association revealed a few outcomes worth noting, especially given our primary field of interest is physical activity and recreation.  They reported that 33 percent of adults in this country upped their physical activity during this time.  On the other hand, and not surprising, forty-six percent showed a decrease in their physical activity.  Another 20 percent claimed no change in their physical activity.

A short version of the report is provided at the link above.  And for a parting thought, “Today is a good day to start adding physical activity to your lifestyle.”

 

National Rec Day is February 22

“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading.  I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.”   — Thomas Jefferson

Stay tuned to the CRS social media sites for events we will hold as we join university rec departments around the country in celebration of this important day.  The College continues to be an institutional member of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, NIRSA, now for over 40 years.