Rec Sports offering healthy fun events for all

February 19, 2010

Larin Childress, a senior in health and kinesiology, takes his turn in the Motion P Carry in the 2009 World's Strongest Boilermaker competition. He won second place overall. The concrete Motion P weighs 120 pounds.

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Everyone at Purdue is invited to go global and go strong with the Division of Recreational Sports in two special events coming soon.

"Fun Around the World" will take a tour of the planet's foods, crafts, sports and dances at 9 p.m.-midnight Feb. 26 in the South Gym of the Recreational Sports Center.

Feb. 26 also is the registration deadline for "World's Strongest Boilermaker," a competition to take place April 17-18 as a Grand Alternative event. Grand Alternative is a campus-wide activity blitz that promotes non-alcohol fun and alcohol education.

The two events represent two strands of special event programming by Rec Sports, says Howard Taylor, director. "Fun Around the World" is part of the Friday Late Night series.

"The late night programming is intended to give our students alternatives on the weekend, non-alcohol activities in a healthy setting," Taylor says. "We try to design those on themes that are appealing. This week's event builds on the wonderful diversity of the campus. We've had music and a hypnotist at past events.

"Other events supplement our ongoing activities such as informal recreation, group exercise classes, intramurals and other fitness opportunities. Events like 'Strongest Boilermaker' provide a one-time occasion that brings variety and fun to things people may be doing more regularly. We've also had Thriller Night, where people learned the Thriller dance, and also have hosted an Indoor Triathlon."

There is at least one event every month. Much of the time, the building's halls and entrances have large, colorful signs promoting "Cabin Fever" or "Home Run Derby" or another event. More about Rec Sports special events is at

"Fun Around the World"

Coming next Friday, this event offers both easy and strenuous ways to be involved. From octopus skewers to chocolate mousse to crepes, the free food will get guests started. Then they can pick up a passport and get it checked for each activity done, leading to a possible prize.

Dance classes such as zumba, Afro-Latin, belly dance and bhangra are scheduled beginning at 10 p.m. A variety of sports are being offered such as cricket, rugby, fencing and soccer. This event's crafts are Indonesian shadow puppets and dream catchers. Information about study abroad will be on hand from the Office of Programs for Study Abroad and PASSPORT, the Purdue Association of Student Study Abroad Participants and Other Recent Travelers.

Becky Knepp, assistant director of student leadership at DRS, says, "The evening creates a fun atmosphere where people can meet, hang out and try new things." The event is family-friendly and open to all of Purdue. Persons attending who are not RSC members will need to come to the front door for entry.

"World's Strongest Boilermaker"

This fun but demanding event is based on a televised strongman competition but gives the events a Purdue twist. Contestants will participate in six weight classes.

Registration is needed by Friday (Feb. 26); the cost is $5. To register, go to the RSC Welcome Center on the main floor or call there at 49-43109. The event's preliminary round of four events will start at noon April 17, and finals will be at noon April 18. Events include:

* Pulling the Boilermaker Special.
* Throwing a Purdue Pete-style sledge hammer for distance.
* Carrying a 120-pound concrete "motion P" around a 300-foot course.
* Flipping at tractor tire 5.5 feet in diameter and 18 inches in width.
* An unannounced event -- the secretiveness is meant to encourage broader training.

Winners in each weight class will get a Purdue Pete-style sledge hammer. Those finishing second or third will get a medal.

Chris Nasti, assistant director of fitness and wellness at DRS, says, "We were looking for a competitive outlet that appeals to our strength training community, but is also designed to encourage healthy and well-rounded strength training. We also wanted it to be fun for both the athletes and spectators." In the first such event last year, 70 contestants endured or actually enjoyed competing in the rain.
Also in the Grand Alternative

* S.K.A.T.E. Competition. This skateboarding competition at 9 p.m. April 20 is open to all of Purdue (persons must be college age or above to participate). Registration is free and will open in March.

* Carnival Night. This popular event, set for 10 p.m.-2 p.m. April 23 in front of RSC, has drawn more than 1,500 people in past renditions. Presented in collaboration with the Purdue Student Union Board, Carnival Night will feature a Battle of the Bands. Other activities include carnival midway games and inflatables, and food will be available. The event is open to all of Purdue.