Opening the gym, occasionally

Another replacement for the opportunities that COVID-19 nixxed has opened up to non-athlete students at Hamline.

Cathryn Salis, sports editor

Two emails have been sent to Hamline students in the past month from the Campus Recreation Program offering a time period in which an “open gym” would be available for anyone to come and use on that day. These open gyms in the fieldhouse have sparked curiosity for many students who do not participate in Varsity sports and but still enjoy athletics, but have no access to the facilities.

Most of the facilities in Walker Fieldhouse and Hutton Arena have been limited to athlete-only use since the beginning of the pandemic two yearsspring semesters ago and they have still not been opened up for all. However, as is the trend as of late, restrictions are loosening their grip and more opportunities are presenting themselves as alternatives to what was once offered.

The concept is not perfect, but it is better than nothing. John Guetter, the director of the Campus Recreation Program, has worked tirelessly to provide all non-athlete students with chances to work out and play sports safely and despite all the restrictions. Guetter spearheaded the effort to create the Bush Aerobic Center, a collection of free-weights and treadmills in the Bush Center lobby, and has restarted the Intramural Sports program on campus. 

We know our students who are non-athletes are wanting some access to an indoor gym space so we in Campus Rec are trying to meet those needs,” Guetter said. 

With multiple different programs competing for the gym space constantly, finding times to offer open gyms is difficult. Sports teams for basketball and volleyball get first access to the Hutton courts and gymnastics always gets access to the tumbling room before anyone else. 

The coming winter months will also prove to be a challenge with poor weather and a need to be inside for athletics. 

“We have some intramural leagues starting soon and it will be a matter of space and time in the fieldhouse. Opportunities will be limited at the start of second semester with additional athletic teams vying for practice time indoors,” Guetter said.

Currently, open gyms are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and will continue at this time for the first semester. Reservations are required in order to contact- trace students and masks are required to be worn by students at all times while in the gym, which is no different than the Aerobic Center and indoor intramural teams.

Students can sign up for these open gyms on under the “open gyms” tab, similar to the intramural and Aerobic Center reservations. The process should be pretty familiar to students who have been involved with Campus Recreation programs in the past two semesters. 

Once again, Campus Recreation has done its best to offer non-athlete students opportunities to participate in athletic activities despite it all, and students are encouraged to take full advantage of them, responsibly. 

The tab on to sign up for Open Gyms is similar to the tabs used to sign up for the Aerobic Center or Intramurals.