Reorganized and renamed, Campus Recreation is energized


The future of student recreation at UNC Pembroke has never looked more robust. The restructured, renamed and expanded Office of Campus Recreation dedicated its new headquarters on February 27.

Located in Room 1192 of the English E. Jones Health, Physical Education & Recreation Building, the new “storefront” is open for business. Director Justin Winans called it “an amazing day for campus recreation.”

The office will coordinate intramural and club sports, the Adventure Leadership Series and recreational facilities, including the Auxiliary Gym, Campbell Wellness Center, Aquatics Center and the new playing field.

The staff has been bolstered with the addition of an assistant director for intramural and club sports and an interim aquatics director. Long-time facilities manager Tony Chavis has been added to the department along with the staff of the Wellness Center.

“The new office, staff and facilities represents wonderful opportunities for our programs and, more importantly, for our students,” Winans said before the ribbon was cut.

A new intramural field will come online next fall, Chancellor Kyle R. Carter said. Chancellor Carter said the field would give greater visibility and accessibility to intramural sports.

“What I learned is that the intramurals were being played mostly off campus in several locations,” Chancellor Carter said. “We clearly needed more playing fields and staff.

“We need to put recreation on campus where it will be more visible and accessible for students,” he said. “Our goal is a more robust student experience to facilitate student success. Recreation and fitness are an integral part of campus life.”

Chancellor Carter noted that a cross-campus effort made the new office a reality.

“The level of cooperation that made this office possible is a prime example of the spirit that drives Pembroke,” Chancellor Carter said. “When we work together, great things happen for our students and our institution.”

Greater support and collaboration are already paying off for campus recreation. Music professor Aaron Vandermeer is assisting in design of the new nine-hole disc golf facility at Pine Cottage.

Campus Recreation, Student Health and the faculty/staff HEALTH Committee are working on a comprehensive university health and wellness program. Campus Recreation and Student Involvement and Leadership will collaborate to expand the Adventure Leadership Program to include additional offerings such as rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking.

“Health and wellness and adventure will be a growing part of our program,” Winans said. “But we could not do all this without the support of the administration.”

The Campbell Wellness Center has received $40,000 in new exercise equipment and the pool will get new decking and water return system. The emphasis on recreation is well timed as UNCP’s newest students are participating in record numbers.

“You can see the interest growing. It’s been a really good year for participation in the major sports in intramurals with participation up 65 percent,” Winans said. “We’ve grown from 19 to 28 flag football teams, 16 to 32 basketball teams and 12 to 20 softball teams.”

For more information about Campus Recreation, please contact the office at 910.521.6605 or email

Cutting the ribbon for the new Campus Recreation office are from left: Dr. John Jones, vice chancellor of Student Affairs; Justin Winans, director of Campus Recreation; Sarah Carter, wife of Chancellor Kyle R. Carter; Dr. Ken Kitts, vice chancellor of Academic Affairs; Dr. Zoe Locklear, dean of the School of Education; and Dr. Tommy Thompson, chair of the Department of Health, Education and Recreation.