July 1, 2006
The University of Virginia is making national headlines for keeping students involved and in shape. As UVA continues to rank among top colleges for academic achievements, it can now add physical fitness to it's outstanding accolades.
Newsweek magazine recently named the university as "The Hottest School for Physical Fitness." Since 94% of the student body engaging in some type of physical activity, it's no surprise.
Mark Fletcher oversees athletics and intramural sports for the university and says this was a set goal.
"Number one, you have to aspire to be something, and we aspired to be the model collegiate recreation program in the country," Fletcher said.
The university boasts four different state of the art indoor facilities as well as several outdoor complexes. Last year over 17,000 students participated in intramural sports. Lance Walker, one of those students, says he plays for more than just the sport aspect.
"Definitely to interact with people because a lot of people at the university are affiliated with sports and doing activities and exercising so it's kind of like a group thing," Walker said.
Fletcher and his department continue to strive for the same level of success that the university reaches.
"We knew that we were at one of the top public universities in the country and we felt like this program ought to be one of the top...fitness programs in the country as well," he added.
The athletic complex already hosts hundreds of sports camps over the summer and since this honor, Fletcher sees that amount continuing to go up. The different facilities and complexes are open seven days a week, and continue to hold programs for summer students as well.