Physical Activity Program: Adding Value to Physical Education

featureprogramseal.fw.pngThe School of Kinesiology is the proud home to the Physical Activity Program (PAP). Directed by Brandi Hoffman, the PAP provides more than 50 physical activity courses each school year. With over 6,000 student participants, courses range from basic conditioning to rock climbing to broomball to SCUBA. The program utilizes many of the University’s premiere athletic and recreational facilities, making them accessible to the entire student body. Not only are there a diverse set of courses offered, but also the skill levels vary in order to continually challenge students. Additionally, these courses prepare students for a physically active lifestyle that may support their passion and awareness for lifetime wellness.
PAP instructors are aware of the benefits of the courses. Take Cody Mikl, for example. A product of the KIN undergraduate and graduate program, Mikl is a Facility Manager for the Department of Recreational Sports –and is a former PAP instructor. As such, he understands the importance of developing active habits early in life and how difficult it can be to maintain motivation in college. Mikl says, “I want [my students] to form habits that persist and I want to keep students moving forward after class ends. Even a little bit of exercise is beneficial. Everyone should try to incorporate exercise in part of their day.”
Many of the PAP courses also serve as a foundation for activities, affording students the proper etiquette and techniques, in addition to general knowledge of the activity. This knowledge gives students the ability to bond with others in the class and later on in life.
PE courses can even provide life-saving skills. Jessica Novotny, a beginning swimming instructor, knows better than anyone how crucial her course can be for students. Novotny explained that growing up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes might make some people take for granted their attitudes towards water and aquatic safety. Novotny is fully aware of that not everyone has grown up going to the lake for a swim. She realizes different cultural norms need to be taken into consideration when teaching a course like swimming. The beginning swimming class gives students the opportunity to learn how to swim in a safe learning enviornment with a teacher who pushes them to work hard and do their absolute best.
With talented and skilled instructors and a variety of course topics, the School of Kinesiology is preparing the University’s students to be both physically active students and physically active alumni! ✍ -Brenda Senger, Communications Assistant

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