Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

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Who We Are

The Department of Recreational Sports offers members of The Ohio State University community an extraordinary experience to live active and meaningful lives while on-campus.

Programs and services range from group fitness, aquatics, adventure trips, climbing, drop-in fitness and recreation, intramural sports, sport clubs, massage therapy, personal training, disc golf, roller hockey and many other activities. Recreational Sports is enhanced by its award winning indoor and outdoor facilities, including five indoor locations and more than 90 acres of outdoor space.

Our Motto
Life in Motion

Our Mission
To engage the university community in physical and wellness activities by offering the finest collegiate recreation programs, services, staff and facilities.

Our Vision
We will be global leaders in developing lives of balance, physical activity and well-being.

Our Values
Advocate for lifelong movement and an active campus
Build personal development opportunities
Celebrate our proud and progressive heritage
Deliver extraordinary service experiences
Enrich through collaboration and diversity 

A History of Movement

Rec Sports has a tradition of supporting Buckeyes of all ages and abilities in their pursuit of active, vibrant experiences. Since the department's inception in 1913, Rec Sports has seen major growth in participation. From the time of men's and women's separate natatoriums and weight training areas, a male dominated intramural program, the women's Buck-i-Anna games and the Swan and Cygnet clubs, to co-ed intramural sports, group fitness, adventure trips and XBOX® football tournaments, Rec Sports continues to be part of a movement toward a more active campus. Participants range from youth in camp programs, to students and adults.

Rec Sports participants, students and staff work to continue the legacy first set in motion by our founders. The size of the department has grown from a handful of original staff to more than 70 full-time staff members and 800 student staff. 

Student Development

Ohio State Rec Sports impacts students' lives by providing them with opportunities to succeed. These opportunities come in the form of leadership, conflict resolution, customer service, problem solving and other social skills. By teaching students about understanding the nuances of human interaction, leading by example and trusting them with job responsibilities, they gain one of the greatest tools in life: experience.

National Involvement, Leadership and Research

Rec Sports staff members have a rich tradition of participating in the national association for recreational sports professionals, NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation. NIRSA is the leading resource for professional and student development, education and research in collegiate recreational sports. Ohio State has the proud honor of former staff member Mary Daniels serving as the first female president of the NIRSA, while other current and former staff members have served as NIRSA president and president of the NIRSA Foundation Board.

The National Research Institute for College Recreational Sports & Wellness is a national partnership between The Ohio State University and NIRSA. The Institute explores emerging areas of research in college recreational sports, develops and commercializes study instruments and manages a research clearinghouse for the field.