As the summer heats up in Fort Worth, the Recreation and Aerobics Center (RAC) is launching a slate of exciting athletic events and programs for Southwestern students and families. Summer workout opportunities offered by the RAC are designed to suit a wide range of age groups and cover a variety of sports activities. The center has something for everyone—whether they are seeking to stay fit, have fun with the family, or build relationships with fellow Southwestern students.

The RAC operates with a special mission to boost the spiritual and physical development of students at the seminary. The RAC’s goal is to equip students with valuable relationships, healthy and energetic bodies, and a competence in sports in ways that can aid future ministry.

“We want to make sure that what we do here [at the RAC] gives students not only the opportunity to work out, but also to have a good time, to build camaraderie, build relationships, and really plug them into Southwestern,” says Tim Chatman, associate director of the RAC and a Master of Divinity student. “We are called to be ministers,” he continues, “and we have to have the energy to do it, and we have to physically be able to handle that calling.”

Chatman also emphasizes that engaging in various sports activities at the RAC and gaining proficient knowledge about team sports can be used as a great aid in spreading the Gospel. For that reason, helping future missionaries and pastors learn how to use sports in their ministries is an important aspect of the RAC’s overall vision.

“Who are the hardest people to reach? Well, it is the men,” says Chatman, who grew up as a missionary kid. “If you are just expecting them to show up at your meeting ... it is not going to happen. But if you get there and start playing soccer with them, and you are competent and know what you are doing, then you have a platform from which you can begin sharing the Gospel with them.”

For students with children, the RAC has several fun programs scheduled this summer. Basketball Camp is coming up July 11-14, followed by Swim Camp on August 1-4. Children from third to eighth grade will be divided into groups by age or skill and taught various skills necessary in playing the sport. Chatman hopes that children who participate will not only gain an important set of skills, but also find a sport that they truly love, one that would keep them in good shape in the years to come and perhaps one day even earn them a sports scholarship.

Other programs at the RAC include water polo every Thursday from 6-9 p.m. from July 7-28; Crossfit twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m.; and women’s water aerobics classes on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. The RAC also offers group swimming lessons every Tuesday and Thursday as well as private swimming lessons, and it is launching new Muay Thai kickboxing classes for those interested in martial arts.

All classes at the RAC are only $20 per month. Students and faculty may also set up schedules with personal trainers at a rate of $15.45 per hour.

You can sign up for events and programs at the RAC. For more information, contact the RAC at 817.923.1921, ext. 3900, or TChatman@swbts.edu.