Help fulfill your New Year’s resolutions. Register for a Sport & Recreation class.

Collage of sport and recreation classes offered.

Sport & Recreation classes offer a chance to try a new sport, learn skills or experience the outdoors. Ron Wiza, who is the Director of College of Health Sciences Outreach, leads the UWM Sport & Recreation Program. The programming is designed to promote healthy lifestyle choices by focusing on fitness, meditation, dance, wellness, healthy eating, outdoor wilderness activities and team building through sport. Here, Wiza explains how programming benefits students, the classes offered and the process to register for a course.

What is Sport & Recreation?

Sport & Recreation, which is housed in the Department of Kinesiology, is staffed by Wiza, Communications Specialist Amanda Battaglia and University Services Associate Joan Mayr. The program has courses that provide students with the tools necessary to live healthy, well-balanced lives. These courses enhance students’ academic studies by increasing physical activity, provide creative outlets and help to reduce stress and find balance. The lessons learned through Sport & Recreation courses can also help to reinforce healthy lifestyle choices that students will carry with them long after the semester ends.

Where are the classes held?

The courses offered by Sport & Recreation primarily meet on or within walking distance of campus. However, some have a trip component, such as a weekend camping trip in Waupaca, a rock climbing expedition in Devil’s Lake or a day-long kayaking trip exploring Milwaukee’s waterways. During the warmer months, we hold outdoor fitness and beach volleyball classes at Bradford Beach, soccer at Gordon Park, sailing on Lake Michigan and tennis at Lake Park.

Who teaches the classes?

Courses are taught by ad hoc instructors who have a passion for the sport or activity. We have instructors who own and manage successful gyms and studios, teach pottery full time and meditation instructors who have studied in India. For instance, Nick Gordon, who teaches Wilderness Adventure courses, spent a few weeks last year climbing Mount Everest and has spoken at several high-profile conventions about wildness survival. We are also fortunate to have Zak Ottow and Leah Letson, who are current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters, teaching Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning, cardio kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes.

What are the different formats, costs, and credits offered for the courses?

Sport & Recreation courses are either 1 or 2 credits and count towards a student’s general elective credits and GPA. We have full semester, early start half semester, late start half semester and summer courses, all of which are offered at various times throughout the day: morning, afternoon, evening and on weekends. The majority of the Sport & Recreation courses are offered in-person, with a few presently available as online offerings. If their total credit load is between 12-18 credits, students can add a full or half semester class at no additional tuition cost. Some courses have a special course fee to cover the cost of specialized equipment, uniforms, food, etc. that are clearly outlined in PAWS.

Which courses are the most popular?

We pride ourselves on offering a diverse array of courses to the UWM student body since everyone’s goals and tastes are different. For students looking to stay fit, our exercise dance classes, weight training and kickboxing classes are always a big hit. Those looking to become more grounded and self-aware, benefit most from our yoga, meditation or martial arts offerings. For students who want to get involved in activities on campus, the bowling, table tennis and billiards courses help satisfy that need.

What are most exciting classes being offered in the Spring 2019 semester?

Every semester, we strive to offer a handful of new courses and revitalize the curriculum in our existing courses. New courses for Spring 2019 include Mindfulness East & West; Mindfulness Meditation: Accepting Your Own Friend Request; Get Intuition and the Art of Being Still. All of these courses are designed to teach students methods for coping with stress and making positive decisions. We also have a new martial arts instructor scheduled to teach T’ai Chi and Tae Kwon-Do courses.

Do I need to have experience or be athletic to enroll?

Not having experience or being athletic should not hold you back from trying out something new. We actively encourage students to try out a new sport, experience the outdoors, learn a new skill, have fun and be healthy. Sport & Recreation instructors structure their courses so that students can participate within their own skill or knowledge level and ultimately increase their abilities. Our courses are designed to help you learn something about yourself and develop healthy lifestyle choices, not to compete with your classmates.

Where can I learn more about Sport & Recreation classes?

The Sport & Recreation webpage has a lot of useful information. Students can use the webpage’s search interface to look up information by class, topic and instructor, or, if they prefer, there is a filter on the webpage that allows users to filter by category, location, course times, etc. We also have very active Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages, where we post information on new courses, course demos, special events and more. Students should search @UWMSportRec on any of these platforms to connect with us. In addition, if a student would like to connect with us directly, our office phone number is (414) 227-3123, or they can reach us by email at