They offer several membership packages to community members, but the cost is free for current students, faculty and staff. 

(Featured photo: OCCC Recreation and Fitness Coordinator Laura Swain – Photo by Cherrisa Milton)

Spring is finally here, and summer is quickly on the way. 

In early spring, on a kind of warm, but sunny Friday afternoon at the Wellness Center, OCCC’s Recreation and Fitness Coordinator Laura Swain was chatting with Mark Bateman, the OCCC Rec. and Fit Customer Service Assistant. 

The two wore jeans with their O-Triple-C Rec. and Fit T-shirts. 

According to Swain, Covid, budget cuts and other constraints have limited the programming able to be offered at Rec and Fit. 

“Right now, though, coming back from COVID, things have changed greatly,” Swain said. 

She added membership is on the rise post-pandemic, as things begin to look normal again. 

Swain, who moved to the Recreation and Fitness program in 2013, said it’s changed a great deal over the past seven years. 

Since the closing of the pool in 2015, the dynamics of the program have changed, but there seems to be a new focus, group fitness, state-of-the art fitness equipment and weights one can use at their own pace. 

The mission of the program is to “provide access to facilities and programs that will aid in the development of healthy lifestyles and foster lifelong devotion to fitness.”

“I believe Recreation and Fitness has had a good impact on the nearby community,” Swain said.  

She even recalls members from the community scheduling early morning volleyball games a couple of times a week, but that was before COVID. 

About a year ago, they installed outdoor fitness equipment along the walking trails.

To engage in the outdoor fitness area, start your walk near 74th Avenue and Regent’s Boulevard, you’ll find pull-up bars, a curl station, push-up bars, and several more training stations suitable for all fitness levels. 

A great deal of O-Triple-C’s Rec and Fit members are retirees, but the majority are students, staff and employees. 

They offer several membership packages to community members, but the cost is free for current students, faculty and staff. 

Swain’s hopeful that people are starting to come back. 

“It’s slowly but surely,” Swain said. 

Membership is on the rise, O-Triple-C Rec. and Fit is actively searching for, interviewing and hiring instructors. 

“It’s kind of a process, so it’s not going to happen overnight,” Swain said. 

Pre-pandemic, O-Triple-C Rec and Fit, had about eight instructors, and offered several yoga classes, Tai Chi, stretching and bootcamps. 

In the meantime, there is no need to use the state-of-the-art fitness equipment like the massive Jacob’s Ladder and Octan ellipticals, treadmills and free weights.

For now, the future includes growing the membership to pre-COVID numbers, finding new instructors, and offering new classes. 

Currently, they have not scheduled any fitness events, but maybe in fall semester. 

“We’ll have some events throughout the year,” Swain said.  

Swain said O-Triple-C, Rec. and Fit, has a positive impact on the community. 

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