KPU Tech’s Fitness Centre Officially Open to Students and Faculty

Equipment at Cloverdale’s gym include a step mill, squat rack, bench press and self-propelled treadmill

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The interior of the new KPU Tech campus gym. (Melissa Pomerleau)

Students and faculty at Kwantlen Polytechnic University are now officially welcome to visit KPU Tech’s new fitness centre on the Cloverdale campus. A former locker room owned by the Kwantlen Student Association, the space was converted into a fully operational fitness centre through a collaboration between the KSA and the university.

Although the grand opening for the centre was held on Nov. 15, the space has actually been in use for several weeks.

“We did a soft launch the second week of September,” says KPU Senior Director of Student Affairs Josh Mitchell. “It’s being well used, predominantly by students but also by staff.”

The gym is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday, using a paper sign in sheet to track usage. While there isn’t currently a faculty member present at all times—as there is on the Surrey campus fitness centre—the department is looking into a more efficient way for students to check in.

Among the equipment offered is a self-propelled treadmill. “You can do nine different running exercises on that treadmill, and it’s all propelled through your own body,” explains Codie Hindle, director of sports and recreation for KPU. “There’s no electronics. It’s a magnet. It’s on an incline, but you actually have to start moving for the machine to start moving. It simulates sprinting, sled workout, downhill running, uphill running, parachute training, and mountain climbers.”

“It’s not a large space, but you pick equipment that is conducive to a full body workout,” he says.

The gym also comes equipped with a multi-functional fitness trainer and slam ball attachment, step mill, squat rack, and bench press.

The official opening ceremony was complete with the cutting of a red ribbon by Alan Davis, president and vice-chancellor of KPU, and Natasha Lopes, VP student life and women’s representative for the KSA. In a speech commemorating the event, Davis said that the university is “pleased that this facility is now available to [the] students, and we’re going to use this as an example. Obviously we have one in Surrey. We want to make sure that, eventually, we have them in Langley and Richmond, where they have some space but not the equipment.”

The KSA has been looking for a way to provide free fitness access to students at the Cloverdale campus since 2013, and have insisted that KPU make all on-campus fitness facilities free to students.

“Once we got fitness passes in the students’ hands we wanted to make sure [students and staff] could work out before, in between, or after class,” says Jeremy McElroy, general manager of the Kwantlen Student Association. “While we did put a low price point on the Steve Nash fitness passes, it is still a financial barrier for some students.”

“This is the first of hopefully many more facilities, both indoor and outdoor, that we’re going to be working with the university to try and make possible,” he says.

A fitness studio was opened at the Langley campus around the same time as the Cloverdale launch, with student feedback requesting more fitness options. The studio—much like the one on the Richmond campus—provides fitness classes and a few exercise machines for student and staff use. The sports and recreation department is looking at ways to better utilize the space and meet the requests of students.

“We’re really excited to be able to provide this opportunity on each of our campuses now,” says Mitchell. “It’s a really important part of our focus going forward, and health and wellness is a really important part of our academic plan.”

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