Feature Article - June 2011
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Colleges & Universities

A Look at Trends in Colleges & Universities

By Emily Tipping


Fitness-related programs were among the most popular programs currently offered by college respondents at their facilities. The majority (83.6 percent) said they offer fitness programming. More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) also said they provide mind-body/balance programs such as yoga and tai chi.

Fifty percent or more also offer educational programs (63.5 percent), adult sports teams (58.6 percent), sports tournaments or races (57.9 percent), swimming (50.3 percent) and individual sports activities (50 percent). Nearly half (48.7 percent) also offer personal training, and 44.1 percent offer aquatic exercise programs.

More than a quarter (27.6 percent) of college respondents reported that they have plans to add programs at their facilities over the next three years. Their most popular choices include:

  1. Day camps and summer camps
  2. Fitness programs
  3. Mind-body/balance programs
  4. Educational programs
  5. Personal training
  6. Climbing programs
  7. Individual sports activities
  8. Sport training, such as golf instruction
  9. Nutrition/diet counseling
  10. Sports tournaments or races

Climbing Walls

More than a quarter (25.5 percent) of college respondents with plans to add features to their facilities over the next three years indicated that they will be adding climbing walls. And climbing programs were No. 6 on the list of planned program additions.

For all ages over 6, climbing saw increased participation from 2009 to 2010 according to an outdoor participation report from the Outdoor Foundation. The total increase year-over-year was 10.6 percent.

Manufacturers offer a range of options, and even provide the ability to refurbish an existing wall by applying a new surfacing over the existing wall.