Black History Month is a month-long celebration of achievements, history and contributions by African-Americans in the United States and the world. This February we remember and celebrate one of numerous achievements, which is near and dear to our hearts, February 22nd– National Recreational Sports & Fitness Day or National Rec Day. National Rec Day recognizes the excellence of NIRSA’s founders and is a reminder to all about the importance of campus recreation in higher education.
NIRSA, the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, is a world-wide organization of collegiate recreation leaders and advocates the advancement of recreation, sports and wellbeing in higher education.
As stated on NIRSA’s website, “NIRSA’s founder, Dr. William Wasson, was an African American Scholar who discovered the value of intramurals studying Physical Education under Elmer Mitchell at the University of Michigan in 1946. He went on to develop his own intramural program at Dillard University, and in 1948 commenced a study, with funding from the Carnegie Foundation, titled “A Comparative Study of Intramural Programs in Negro Colleges.” Since then collegiate recreation has developed into more than just intramural sports catered to the needs of minority students, but a mix of programs and activities aimed to improve student health and wellbeing for all.
On February 22nd campuses and recreation departments celebrate Recreational Sports & Fitness Day and remember the vision by Dr. William Wasson and his fellow colleagues and scholars which focused around spreading the word of the importance of recreational sports and how they can help advocate for better health, increased activity, competition and inclusivity.
Join us today, Tuesday, February 22nd as we celebrate Rec Day and commemorate the excellence of NIRSA’s founders by getting active through recreation, sports, outdoor adventures and fitness!
Read more about NIRSA and it’s origins here.
Photo pictured Inaugural meeting of the National Intramural Association – February 22-23, 1950, Dillard University. Photo Credit: NIRSA.net