Campus Recreation and Wellness creates opportunities ‘Outside the Oaks’ at the Southeast Collegiate Fitness Exposition

Students and staff explore opportunities to continue pursuing Campus Recreation and Wellness values outside of Elon’s campus through the Southeast Collegiate Fitness Conference.

By teaching various classes for over 30 hours a week, the group exercise instructors at Campus Recreation and Wellness provide opportunities for Elon students, faculty, and staff to get involved and invest in their own physical health. Earlier this spring, several group exercise instructors had their own opportunity to attend FIT EXPO, or the Southeast Collegiate Fitness Exposition, to continue to develop the skills they have honed on Elon’s campus and take their knowledge “outside the oaks.”

FIT EXPO 2024 was hosted by East Carolina University and had over 50 universities attend for the weekend along with Elon University and the 10 representatives Campus Recreation and Wellness sent consisting of personal trainers and group exercise instructors.

Julia Ashbrook, Team Leader for Group Exercise

Julia Ashbrook ‘24 has been the group exercise team leader for the past two years and was one of the nine RecWell students represented at FITEXPO. While at the conference, Ashbrook and others spent time taking classes, participating in lectures and observing other professionals in the field including Assistant Director of Fitness Programs Jody Sobel.

Jody Sobel was welcomed to the Campus Recreation and Wellness community last July, making this her first FIT EXPO with Elon. Although admittedly nervous, Sobel took the opportunity to present this year at FITEXPO. After being accepted to present, Sobel’s research and preparation began. With over 560 participants, her presentation on personal trainers’ relationships with clients reached an audience well beyond her team of student employees at Campus Recreation and Wellness.

The relationship between Sobel and student employees like Ashbrook has provided valuable real-world applications, experiences, and mentoring. “This has been my most stress-free year as a team leader so far,” Ashbrook said. “Having such an amazing relationship with your professional staff allows for security going into my future after college. Knowing that Jody and the other professional staff have my best interest at heart makes me feel secure going into my future career.”

The weekend of the FIT EXPO provided Sobel with opportunities to grow her network and skills in addition to connecting with her students outside of the Elon setting and providing them with a support system that will last far after the end of the FIT EXPO. “The weekend taught me so much about how much I can trust them, and the capacity they have for what they can do,” Sobel said.