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Students participating in the Polar Plunge. 

SPOTLIGHT: Adaptive Recreation

Opportunities include wheelchair basketball, seated volleyball, goalball, adaptive climbing and swim lessons

University Recreation introduced an innovative Adaptive Recreation program focused on providing accessible recreation opportunities for all students. APSU students registered with the Office of Student Disability Resource Center were surveyed and results revealed: 94% see being active and engaged in fitness to be beneficial to their quality of life; 88% desire to participate in recreational activities; 69% need help creating a fitness plan for themselves; and 63% do not regularly visit the Foy Fitness and Recreation Center. 

Students using the Foy Fitness & Recreation Center.As a result, the department implemented Adaptive Recreation and began to offer adaptive activities and fitness training on a regular basis. A new internship was created to focus on this initiative and enable the student intern to apply knowledge from Health and Human Performance classes. The intern also coached 20 fitness/wellness training sessions for a community member with paraplegia under supervision from the assistant director of Recreation Services. 

Adaptive Recreation focused on partnerships with the community and offered Wheelchair Basketball at Kleeman Community Center, and adaptive fitness/wellness services and adaptive sports were offered regularly to the community free of charge. Partnerships with Clarksville Parks and Recreation and Catalyst Sports of Nashville provided intramural adaptive sports events and adaptive climbing events. Bi-monthly seated volleyball games featured guest instructor  Alex Shaw, an Army veteran and Army victor games competitor. APSU men’s and women’s club volleyball teams participated in seated volleyball and now plan to incorporate it as a regular event. Other community programs supported by Adaptive Recreation included USO Veteran’s Recreation Fair, Nashville Veteran’s Affairs Recreation Therapy Program and Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Unit, as well as adaptive aquatics night for the Buddy Ball Organization.

The Adaptive Expo program, which occurred over the course of a week and included 33 participants, offered events in four recreation areas: adaptive fitness, which included personal training workout sessions; Center orientations, and blindfolded yoga; aquatics programs included SCUBA, water aerobics and swim lessons; intramurals programs included seated volleyball, goalball, and giant soccer; and Adventure Recreation and Wellness included supported climbing, wellness workshop and s’more cook-out. During the Expo patrons were asked to participate in blindfolded yoga and climbing to experience normal activities in a different way. 

University Recreation implemented adaptive equipment in multiple programming areas, and Adventure Recreation added specialized assistive climbing equipment. Aquatics added low-impact cardio equipment such as underwater treadmill, aquatics step aerobics, and fitness/wellness adjustable assessment table for those with physical/mobility constraints. A resource manual was created to modify equipment/activities. 

University Recreation student staff regularly participate and volunteer their time to facilitate adaptive activities at APSU as well as external adaptive events.



Fall facility usage
Spring facility usage

Fall operating hours

Spring operating hours


University Recreation Engage

» Over 3,000 participants in Intramural Recreation and 118 teams representing eight sports, a 15% increase over previous fall

» 778 have downloaded the URec app

Students talking in the Foy Fitness & Recreation Center.» 3,226 summer and fall aquatics participants

» 88% participant increase and 175% participations increase in Individual/Dual sports from Fall 2014

» 200% increase in teams and a 375% increase in participants in Weekend/Special Events during fall 2015

» 15% increase in five active sports clubs over previous fall

» Contracted for FUSION — recreation management software

» Red Cross Water Safety Swim Lessons

     238 Total Participants

     63 Group Lessons

     50 Private Lessons

David Davenport has been the Director of University Recreation at APSU since 2003.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University and master’s at Old Dominion University. He is involved in many community and professional organizations. He is currently serving a three-year term on the National Board of NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation as Member-at-Large. He received the Juliette Moore People of Color Distinguished Leadership Award from NIRSA.


He is a member of the Clarksville Mayor’s Fitness Council and the Hopkinsville/Fort Campbell graduate chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He also serves as the campus advisor for the undergraduate chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He has been appointed by President Alisa White as APSU’s first Chief Diversity Officer, a position he holds in addition to his regular job responsibilities.