• The Southwestern

What you can expect at the Wellness Center

Although the primary purpose of the university is education, Southwestern Oklahoma State University also attends the physical fitness of students through a variety of activities, including its facilities in the Wellness Center and intramural sports.



Wellness Center at SWOSU. Photo: Johannes Becht

Although the primary purpose of the university is education, Southwestern Oklahoma State University also attends the physical fitness of students through a variety of activities, including its facilities in the Wellness Center and intramural sports.


Wellness and Intramural Director Scott Miller oversees what goes on in and out of the Wellness Center. Along with Graduate Assistant Levi Melendy, they keep everything in top form.


“We offer intramural sports throughout the fall and spring semesters, we don’t do anything in the summers,” says Miller. “We don’t get enough students willing to attend, so we just don’t offer them anymore.”


In the fall, late August or early September, SWOSU Wellness Center offers flag football or co-ed softball outside. They run those game sessions until Fall Break.


Next, they begin to reel the sports back inside as the days get cooler, with co-ed basketball and men’s basketball leagues. They continue the game sessions for about a month and a half until December.


“When we return back in the spring, we’ll back up with co-ed basketball and men’s basketball again,” Miller says. “We break them into an A or B league, so we’ll play two different divisions.”


Along with the addition of the basketball leagues, there are co-ed volleyball and co-ed soccer league gaming sessions. Those will run until Spring Break.


“After Spring Break, weather tends to be a lot nicer, so we finish up the semester with co-ed flag football and co-ed soccer,” Miller says. “We try to not have any events over Dead Week.”


From a wellness perspective, the students and staff can come in, free of charge and use the equipment. Staff can have their loved ones get in free of charge as well. All students have to do is show their I.D at the door.


“We offer a new renovated weight room, along with new racks, weight plates and benches,” says Melendy. “Upstairs we have new weight machines, treadmills, bikes and ellipticals.”


The center also has new televisions for students and staff to use when they’re using the cardio equipment.


On the gym floor, there are three basketball courts for students to use, which can easily be transformed into make-shift indoor soccer courts or volleyball courts.


The Wellness Center offers a variety of activities, including rock-climbing, intramural sports events.


“We also offer a variety of fitness classes,” Melendy says, “which includes Zumba classes and yoga classes.”


“The ones we’ve been getting the most feedback on are the yoga and Zumba classes,” Miller says. “So, we continue to offer them on a semester by semester basis.”


Zumba classes are hosted every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m. While yoga classes are 5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday at noon, and Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.


“Zumba has had a lot of good numbers as well, I’m real pleased with both of those,” says Scott Miller. “The instructors do a really good job.”


Angela Fleming is a registered yoga teacher who manages the yoga classes that take place here on campus.


She trains people of all ages, including faculty and students. Fleming trains athletes of all professions at SWOSU.


“I train faculty, staff and students, but I also train athletes,” says Fleming. “I work with the golf teams, football players, soccer players, track, it’s part of their athletic training.”


Fleming has over 200 hours of training under her belt; it takes approximately 11 months to complete for certifications and she is also an adjunct professor at SWOSU.


“I teach basic concepts of yoga for the first eight weeks, second eight weeks is advanced concepts of yoga,” says Fleming. “I also teach open yoga classes at the center, for 50 minutes to an hour; it increases mobility, blood flow, it does so many wonderful things for your body.”


The Wellness Center offers rock climbing, sophomore student and Wellness Center worker, Jordan Valenzuela, oversees the rock-climbing wall while on the clock.


Valenzuela is the rock wall facilitator and he manages to make sure all mandatory maintenance is done while overlooking the wall. He oversees the log climbs and various details about the rock wall every semester.


When students want to climb, they give their ID to him in exchange for climbing shoes for the wall. He attaches a harness on their body, ties them into the rope and “belay” them as they climb the wall.


Belaying involves pulling out the slack from the rope as they climb and if they fall, he serves as the counterweight, so they do not fall all the way if they do manage to slip.


“I really enjoy working at the Wellness Center, I’ve been working here for the last four semesters,” says Valenzuela. “I really enjoy the staff and the interactions I have with other students while they rock climb.”


The Wellness Center also hosts a square-dancing class, Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. At the Business Enterprises Center, Research Analyst Lisa Thiesson, is in charge of handling Continuing Education, through SWOSU.


Square dancing is done through Continuing Education and its practitioners, Melva and Phil Snider, are the lead instructors.


“They have done this for several years, they enjoy using our facilities,” Thiesson says. “We love having them here. These classes are offered to anyone in the community willing to come learn.”


From college students to senior citizens, are taking these classes and having fun in the process.

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