Spelman College doesn’t have a large sports program, but the influential, historically black college spends over $1 million annually to fund it. So Spelman is changing that — scrapping its intercollegiate athletics programs to instead focus on a campus-wide wellness initiative, according to Inside Higher Ed.
Spelman has always had a physical education requirement, but it’s redesigning the curriculum to focus more on fitness and activities career women are likely to continue with as adults: more running, less archery; more yoga, less badminton. Instead of teaching how to play the game, instructors will help students understand their own bodies and their individual needs. It’s all about personal wellness.
In addition to the PE classes will be voluntary not-for-credit courses, already available but limited in scale because most campus resources were directed toward intercollegiate athletics and not co-curricular activities. Those courses will include things like Zumba and hip-hop aerobics – “lots of creative courses that students find very interesting and are participating in already,” Tatum said.
Just one problem: there’s nowhere to put everyone. So the college is raising $13 million ($6 million down so far) to renovate its gymnasium, which was built in the 1950s.