The University of Alabama has a variety of opportunities for sports and exercise. With expansive multi-purpose fields, climbing walls, gyms, pools and all types of “court”, an incoming freshman may not even know where to start. Luckily for us, activities are compartmentalized into a couple of areas. The student recreation center is the largest and offers a wider range of activates, making it a good place to check out first.

Being central to many activities, the general student recreation center has a lot of stuff going on any given day. Considering there are too many options to list in a catalogue, it is particularly useful to explore. Walking around the center and surrounding areas is an awesome way to discover new sports and interests that you may have not been exposed to.

Recent UA graduate Danny Jung recalls learning about table tennis his freshman year after exploring the rec, “I was just walking around the basketball courts shooting around when I saw these real serious looking guys with head bandanas set up ping-pong tables and start going at it.” Danny started to add table tennis to his rec center routine, and it became an enjoyable of his hobby over the next several years.

Exploration may also lead you to two division one sports teams playing in this area as well. Both Tennis and Soccer teams offer free attendance for their season’s home games. Imagine stopping by one of their venues after noticing cheers and a huge crowd after your workout, then get free tacos as you watch UA’s Women’s soccer dominate Auburn. This was a real experience I had, and although I cannot guarantee tacos, there is a real good chance of finding some high-level athletics next door to your workout.

Beyond the primary student recreation center, there is also an activity center in presidential village near Black Warrior river. Although described as an “aesthetics zone” by the university, there are a variety of options here as well. In addition to workout equipment and a track, there are climbing walls and table tennis tables.

Further down the road is river walk. The public space spans a stretch of the river with well-lit sidewalk and benches. The proximity to both the river and campus make it an easy recommendation for those who appreciate exercising in nature.

Between these several areas, UA makes available a multitude of sports and other activities that are sure to satisfy. Enjoy the exploration of it all.

Adam Kern

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