Free Yates Classes Fall 2017

My Yates LRED Experience

The last time I had held a tennis racket was at 9 years old, when all the other kids were also beginners. A time when smacking a ball in bad form over the net warranted applause, an age when your parents were still able to convince themselves that this could be the sport for you despite lack of “natural talent”. A few years down the line, however, my mom had me enrolled in the swim team, a sport I had some minimal skill in while my tennis racket was banned to the dusty depths of my closet.

Even though I stopped playing tennis, I still held onto my love for the sport. I reserved my free time during the last 2 weeks of August and the first week of September to pool into watching the U.S. Open. These were my last weeks of freedom before school started so I spent them doing what I enjoyed most.

Heading into college, I decided that I wanted to relearn this beloved sport of mine, no matter how terrible I was at it. I knew I would likely be embarrassed and that all of my friends who played tennis would be much better. I realized, however, that the tennis classes did not come with my membership and then was unwilling to pay for my own embarrassment.

However, spring semester of freshman year, I discovered the Leisure & Recreation classes through one of my older friends. When tennis was on the list, I jumped at the chance. Still afraid of mortifying all those around me with my complete inability, I dragged one of my friends to the class and convinced her to just go to the first one with me.

During the first class, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who was a real beginner. It was extremely different compared to my other experiences at Georgetown where my introductory French class was half made up of kids with years of French experience under their belt, and my U.S. Political Systems class where it seemed everyone had known the ins and outs of the government before they could walk. No, here was a class where the other students also swung their rackets in strange ways and got smacked in the face with balls they had mis-predicted. It was a place where people really did come to improve and learn, not just to show off their skill. By the end of the class, my friend, who I had forced to come saw that I was comfortable and merrily went on her way to enroll in the racquetball class instead.

My class only had 4 students so we all became rather friendly. One of our classmates was a graduate student and I know her and her tennis partner would practice outside of class almost every week. Moreover, the teacher I had, Kathleen Collins-Bell, was extremely patient. I was pretty hard on myself when I made a mistake but she coached me through it, always ready with a tip of improvement. Each class we ran through drills in the beginning, played each other at the end, and practiced serving if we had time. I looked forward to each class, re-learning a sport, counting it as my daily exercise, and meeting new people who I still say hi to today.

What Others Have to Say:

Chas Kennedy who teaches the introductory golf course cites forming personal connections with the students as his favorite part of the job. “Just by chance, over the last couple of years, I’ve had almost half of the students from China, Mongolia, and Japan. It’s very interesting to talk to these kids about how they became fluent in English, and where they studied before they came to Georgetown and what they’re going to do after they graduate.”

Chas with his golf class.

Ellie Valencia, now graduated, took a tennis course last spring with Kathleen Collins-Bell. She said, “The tennis LRED course definitely had more of a sense of community than the average Georgetown course mostly because it was so small…It really is a great deal taking this class because you get a lot of individual feedback which could normally set you back at least $50/hour for a course. Kathleen was always very encouraging and gave feedback as to what we could each be doing better.”

Ellie says she still runs into Kathleen on the courts and asks for her advice. As for her fellow classmates, she still plays tennis with two of them even though the course is over.

She concluded, “I feel like it’s really a hidden gem at Georgetown because if you’re a full time student it’s a free course with really tailored instruction. I’m not very athletic myself so it was an excellent introduction course–especially since it wasn’t graded!”

Ellie with one of her classmates
Ellie’s Tennis Class













Anna Gloor, a sophomore, took a yoga class her freshman spring. She considered it “a nice time set out twice a week for me to relax. I enjoyed learning how to meditate and how to control my body in ways I hadn’t ever thought to think about.” 

She ended up in the same class as her roommate. “I feel that we got closer. Oftentimes the class would consist of just my roommate, the instructor, and me. It was an intimate and peaceful setting.”

As for her instructor, she said, “She was super attentive and made sure to check up on me, as she knew I was a beginner. Sometimes I would fall asleep, and she’d let me sleep there for a few minutes.”

A ballet class
A ballet class

Jan Taylor who teaches the dance classes says, “Movement is my vocabulary. I communicate this way and enjoy teaching folks to do so as well.” She has three college degrees in dance, and has toured with professional companies. She even has her own company, Jan Taylor Dance Theatre. Moreover, apparently many students take the same courses over and over. She says, “It can be a lot to take in so repetition is great.”

LRED Swim Class
LRED Swim Class

Class Offerings

This upcoming semester, fall 2017, Yates is offering 14 Leisure and Recreation Classes, with the strength training classes held in the new John Thompson Junior Recreation Center. Classes are taught by Yates professional instructors who also take on private and paid classes. Most of the classes are introductory and require no experience. Each class is 0 credits but they are all free! They are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

For Fall 2017, here is the course offering (number of students in each class):

  • Beginning Swimming (6)
  • Swimming for Fitness (8)
  • Tennis I (2 classes/ 16)
  • Tennis II (2 classes/ 12)
  • Racquetball I (6)
  • Squash I (6)
  • Ballet I (25)
  • Jazz Dance (25)
  • Modern Dance (20)
  • Yoga (30)
  • Intro to Strength Training (10)
  • Strength Training II (10)
  • Intro to Ballroom Dance (30)
  • Introduction to Golf (6)

Registration Instructions

To register for the classes, you simply log into myAccess, go to the “Course Schedules by Campus”, and find the classes by selecting “Leisure & Recreation Education” in the “Subject:” field and then pressing “Class Search”. It is also important to note that almost all of the classes require no experience. Usually the classes with the “II” indicated at the end (ie: Tennis and Strength Training) and the Swimming for Fitness classes require a bit of experience, but all the others start at the grassroots.

Whether it’s to pursue an old passion, a new one, get fit, find a community, or find friends that have similar interests, I would definitely suggest trying this out! The smaller classes fill up fast so be sure to register quickly!

Yates Field House Participates in National NIRSA Conference

How can Yates Field House provide innovative recreation opportunities for our students and members? What does it take for our student employees to become true campus leaders? How can Georgetown’s recreational services enhance the physical, mental, AND spiritual well-being of the university and surrounding community?

These were some of the inquiries examined by nine Yates Field House professional staff members last week at the 2017 NIRSA National Conference. The conference, held by the National Intramural-Recreational Sport Association (NIRSA), brought together over 3,300 collegiate recreation professionals from across the United States and Canada. Along with smaller, program-specific institutes, NIRSA hosts an annual national conference each spring, which is held in a different city every year. This year, the NIRSA National Conference was held in National Harbor, Maryland, just south of Washington, D.C.

yates at nirsa
Yates staff at the conference
NIRSA DC tour - Lincoln Memorial 2
D.C. Tour participants at the Lincoln Memorial







With the conference in our own backyard, Yates Field House was given the opportunity to shine. Our very own Bethany Bower, Director of Aquatics and Risk Management  at Yates, organized for Yates to be included in a pre-conference tour of local recreation facilities. The day before the conference began, about 100 recreation professionals from different schools came to Georgetown to tour the Yates Field House and Thompson Athletic Center facilities. As a member of the conference host committee, Bower assisted in the planning and execution of many other conference events including a polar bear plunge in the Potomac River and the host committee information station at the conference venue.

NIRSA 2017 Host Committee

“Having the opportunity to be a part of the Host Committee and work alongside my colleagues from local institutions and NIRSA staff was amazing,” Bower said of her experience. “As a member of the Host Committee, I was able to be a part of the planning of pre-conference tours and show off some of the amazing campus rec facilities we have in the area.” Bower led a group of NIRSA attendees on a second tour to recreation facilities at the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Maryland at College Park.

“[At the conference] I attended many great sessions on leadership within campus recreation, but learned much by just chatting and sharing ideas with my colleagues from Institutions around the US and Canada,” Bower continued. She was not the only Yates staff member to get the most out of building relationships with other conference attendees. “Talking to recreation professionals and students and seeing the things they are doing on their campus was really inspiring,” said Yates Marketing Coordinator Michele Guthrie. “I’m excited to cater those ideas to our own university community and Yates Field House members.”

Equipped with new knowledge from the NIRSA National Conference, Yates Field House staff (ten of which are NIRSA professional members) strives to continue improving the overall experience of Campus Recreation at Georgetown University.

2017 National Rec Day Recap

How do YOU Yates? Georgetown University Students, Faculty, Staff, and Yates Members gathered to tell us just that at National Recreation Day on February 3rd.

Yates Field House celebrated National Rec Day with free Group Fitness Classes, our Intramural Battleship tournament, Log Rolling, and fun giveaways from our Rec Day photo booth! See the gallery below for a sneak peek of how Yates members answered the question #HowDoYouYates!

National Recreation Day 2017: How Do You Yates?

Yates Field House is excited to once again celebrate National Recreation Day with an abundance of day-long activities and events! Join us on Friday, February 3rd to get active, have fun, and reflect on #HowDoYouYates!

Rec Day 2017 FB

National Recreation Day is recognized every February by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). The day was established to celebrate the founding of NIRSA, as well as promote habits of health and wellbeing in our communities. At Yates Field House, we celebrate Rec Day with offerings of free fitness and wellness activities to our members, as well as a day dedicated to educating our community about why physical activity is important.

Help us spread the word about what recreation means to you by participating in our #HowDoYouYates photo booth! The first 150 participants will receive a FREE Rec Day 2017 t-shirt.

Full schedule of National Recreation Day events below.

11AM-6PM: Free Chair Massage event, Mezzanine
3PM: Cornhole begins, Lobby
3:00-6:00PM: #HowDoYouYates Photo Booth and T-shirt giveaway, Lobby
4:00PM-5:00PM: FREE Spinning, Studio B*
4:45PM-5:45PM: FREE Kripalu Yoga, Studio A*
7PM: Battleship and Log Rolling, Pool**

*Group Fitness classes will be filled on a first-come, first serve basis. For spinning, participants MUST sign up for a bike at the Yates Front Desk beginning at 3:30PM.
**Sign up for the Battleship Tournament through Georgetown’s IMleagues website. Participation is $15 per team.

Announcing the James J. Gilroy, III Basketball Courts

On December 14th, 2016, the Yates Field House basketball courts were dedicated in honor of James J. “Jim” Gilroy, III, Director of Campus Recreation and Yates Field House from 1994 to 2017. In his total of 36 years of employment at Yates Field House, Jim Gilroy left a lasting impression on his staff, Georgetown students, and the university as a whole.

jim-6As a double alumnus of Georgetown University, the Hoya legacy runs deep with Jim. He was born at none other than the Georgetown University Hospital, and his parents and his two sons are also alums. Jim went on to graduate with an English major from the Georgetown College in 1972 and completed his Master of Arts in English in 1979. When he wasn’t assisting students and Yates members, Jim could be seen on a Yates treadmill, shooting hoops on the Yates courts, or cheering on the Hoyas as the Georgetown Basketball official scorer.

The Yates Field House staff and affiliates are proud to acknowledge Jim’s accomplishments through this dedication. It is the hope of the Yates family that his legacy will be recognized every time a player steps foot on the Gilroy Courts.

Former Director Jim Gilroy hugs incoming Director Meg Dimsa during the basketball court dedication.
Students play a pick-up game at the newly marked Gilroy Courts.