A Birthday Party for Campus's Own Muscle Beach
RSF Celebrates 15 Years With Music, Athletic Demonstrations and Sports Contests
By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs
The Recreational Sports Facility celebrates its 15th birthday Friday, Nov. 5, with an afternoon of live music, sports demonstrations, contests and more.
From noon to 7 p.m., the campus community can participate in a $10,000 Hot Shot contest, a health fair, watch the women's basketball team practice, get a free chair massage, listen to the Cal Band or register for raffle prizes.
Free celebration T-shirts will be given to the first 100 people at the door at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Built in 1984 for about $20 million, the facility arrived just in time for the fitness craze that took America by storm. It now serves more than 2,000 students a day. Membership includes 1,500 faculty and staff and 500 community members.
Before it was built, students used Harmon and Hearst Gyms for recreation. But as enrollment steadily increased after World War II, the facilities were bursting at the seams, often booked solid from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Programs were limited to intramural teams, sport clubs, non-credit instructional classes and youth camps.
Once construction of the new facility was completed, programs expanded to include an outside membership program, aerobics classes and programs for persons with disabilities. In 1990, cardiovascular machines, including Stairmasters, treadmills and stationary bicycles were installed.
As the world of exercise evolved and became more diverse, the facility kept up with the times by adding light, super and power step classes as well as cardio funk, yoga, Tai Chi, Karuna and active-isolated stretch classes.
With the heavy work load for Berkeley students, staff and faculty, the need for a convenient and well-equipped place to play on campus is crucial, says Kathy Andrews, director of campus recreation.
"The RSF provides a healthy outlet for the campus community," said Andrews. "Be it a cardiovascular machine, signing up for a fitness class or participating in a conditioning workshop, people of all ages can use the RSF to enhance their health and improve their quality of life."
While the RSF has served the campus well over the last 15 years, it is in desperate need of a facelift and expansion, she said.
"The facility is so popular that lines have formed for the weight room, cardio machines and certain classes," she said. "Students can vote early next month on a referendum that seeks an increase in fees to fund the renovation of the RSF."
Information on the B.E.A.R.S. (Bridging Equity to Athletics and Rec Sports) student referendum, which supports the expansion of the RSF, outdoor field enhancements and gender equity in athletics, will be available at the birthday celebration Nov. 5.