Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
If you’ve never been in a buffalo-shaped pool, now’s your chance to scratch that off your bucket list. “Kick-off Week at The Rec,” this week through Sept. 2, is when CU’s main campus recreation center has free fitness classes, free bouldering in the climbing gym and free ice skating.

If you want to get in shape to take part in Boulder’s high-octane fitness scene or are just looking for something more active than slinging a Frisbee around campus, check out CU’s many recreational facilities and programs.

There’s everything from club and intramural teams to free-to-student recreation centers with fitness equipment, pools and a climbing gym.

Annie Mulvany, assistant director of marketing and external relations for CU Boulder’s Recreation Services, says the benefits of getting physically active extend beyond simple fitness.

“Wondering how to make the most of the next four years?” Mulvany asked. “Studies have conclusively proven that physical activity, in any form, helps to relieve stress and improve cognitive function,” she said in an email.

Mulvany urged students to check out the Recreation Services website — — and follow it on social media.

Anna Jager and Harrison Price / Colorado Daily
Maria Givens shoots baskets with her friend Liz Rose at The Rec on campus.

“We want to help you ‘Find Your Fit,’ feel good in your body, have fun and get the most out of your unique college experience,” she said.

The best time to see what’s available is the Aug. 23-Sept. 2 “Kick-off Week at The Rec,” when the main campus recreation center has  free fitness classes, free bouldering in the climbing gym and free ice skating.

Mulvany also encourages students to look into the Recreation Services Sport Club teams, which compete against other colleges’ and universities’ teams. There are 31 CU Sport Club teams, and they’ve won more than 70 national championships, she said. Information about organizational meetings is available at

Recreation Services also offers intramural sports. See details at

The University of Colorado has two indoor student recreation centers, one at 1835 Pleasant St. on the main CU campus and the second on the Williams Village campus area at 3300 Baseline Road, as well as three artificial turf fields, four natural grass fields, four outdoor basketball courts, three tennis courts, and a challenge ropes course at various locations throughout the Boulder campus.

Full-fee-paying undergraduate students automatically have access to both centers, Mulvany said. Students can drop in any time they’re open. All they need is their Buff OneCard.

“The Rec,” the main campus recreation center, has more than 30,000 square feet of space, with badminton, basketball, volleyball, racquetball, squash and tennis courts. That includes six multipurpose wood courts as well as an indoor turf gym. CU also has lighted outdoor basketball courts on Regent Drive behind the CU Events Center.

Anna Jager and Harrison Price / Colorado Daily
Alex Berry and Laura Wysocki plan their day for the CU Rec Center weight room. CU has two rec centers, one on main campus and one at Williams Village.

CU Recreation Services staff said The Rec has the only ice rink in Boulder, a facility that offers options from broomball and hockey to group skate parties. There are four pools at The Rec, as well as an indoor climbing gym that offers both bouldering and rope climbing for all ability levels.

The Williams Village Recreation Center offers fitness services that are especially convenient for students living at Williams Village/Bear Creek Apartments.

Its first floor includes a 3,300-square-foot weight room complete with Cybex strength and fitness equipment, Olympic-style weight benches, dumbbells, two treadmills, and nine Precor ellipticals with individual TVs as well as two 50-inch TVs in the weight room.

The second floor has a multipurpose studio for group fitness classes. Cardiovascular equipment is available for drop-in recreation when classes are not scheduled.

One of the benefits of using the recreation centers, Mulvany said, is that students can “de-stress by staying active. While we can’t avoid stress, we can alleviate it before it wreaks havoc on our minds and bodies.”

The Recreation Services facilities and programs also offer a chance to make new friends, connect with other students and participate in healthy competition, Mulvany said.

“College is a time of exploration, triumph, learning, and fun, but we know that it is not without its challenges and pitfalls,” she said. “This is why we are committed to providing opportunities to help you find your center, foster positive body image, build healthy habits, and do what makes you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally well.”

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