Beginning a New Chapter: A Closing Interview with Gabby Kinnamon

Gabby Kinnamon has been the Assistant Director of Club Sports here at Miami University Recreation for three years. While at the Rec, she oversaw 55 teams and 1,500 athletes, ranging from their daily operations to facility bookings. Additionally, she was in charge of the Youth Gymnastics Program which consists of recreational classes and training for ages 2-14 and directed the competitive cheer and gymnastics team.

When we asked Kinnamon who has influenced her the most while working at the Rec, she quickly answered without hesitation, Mike Arnos, Senior Director of Programs and Academic Partnerships. Kinnamon and Arnos shared a desk for nearly a year, and she explained how those circumstances allowed them to get to know each other on both a personal and professional level. “He’s done so much for me, whether it be opportunities, or simply answering questions, he would always drop whatever he was doing to give me an explanation and help me understand areas I was struggling with,” said Kinnamon.

One thing that surprised Kinnamon about working at Miami University in general is the amount of support and appreciation club sports and all organizations receive from the University President and his wife. She explained how they somehow attend nearly every event on campus and always the kindest and most genuine people. Kinnamon felt like she had immense support from the entire university when working with club sports and that was a very encouraging and motivating feeling.

Working at the Rec wasn’t always easy, and Kinnamon discussed thoroughly how those trials taught her about herself helped her grow professionally. She planned and helped Miami host the ORSA (Ohio Recreation Sports Association) state conference this past year, which spanned the course of an entire weekend and held hundreds of individuals, all while attending graduate school and working full-time. Although these tasks were extremely difficult, she expressed how she could not have done any of it without the amazing support from her fellow staff members. “The people you work with truly make your job, and I although I loved my job, I could’ve absolutely hated the actually work I was doing, but still would have stayed here solely for the people,” said Kinnamon. She never felt like she was actually working simply because she was able to come in everyday and surround herself with true friends and supportive individuals.

Kinnamon wants to express to anyone who may work at the Rec in the future that if you give the job and people a chance, good things will come your way. “Don’t fear getting to know people, don’t sit in your car and eat your lunch. You have to put yourself out there, everyone is so great. Get so involved and try new things because you get to learn and work with so many different people,” she said.

In concluding the interview, we asked Kinnamon her favorite moment while working at the Rec, in which she responded by telling us that it didn’t actually take place during any of her schedule shifts. She told us about her wedding and how many of her co-workers traveled two hours away from the office, to help support and celebrate her special day. She stated that she was convinced that she had the best group of friends and coworkers around.

One of the most difficult things about leaving she says is that she will miss all her friends and will miss seeing the growth of the young and ambitious club sports teams and individuals she has hired and worked with over the years.

Zach Moore, Marketing Account Manager for Campus Services stated how great of a coworker and friend Kinnamon was. “Gabby’s contribution to the Miami Rec Center and Miami itself is seen by the countless stories that her students, colleagues, and friends tell about how she inspired them, motivated them to be their best and to make a difference in not just our lives but those around us,” he said. “She made everybody smile and made every day that much better.”

Thank you, Gabby, for your infinite contributions to Club Sports, Youth Gymnastics and Miami University Recreation as a whole. Your passion, personality, and dedication has and will continue to inspire many for years to come. We wish you the absolute best at your new position as a Program Assistant for Ohio State University and will miss you greatly.

By Emily Comos, Miami University Rec Center Marketing Assistant 

5 Ways To Stay Active Over The Summer in Oxford

Summer is a unique time on Miami University’s campus, as very few students and faculty members are still here. But if you are one of the ones that has chosen to either take classes or work while living in Oxford, then you know how tough it may be to stay active and healthy. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite ways to get outside and exercise here in Oxford while still enjoying the freedom of summer. From right on campus, to the outskirts of town, there are plenty of ways to stay active and have fun doing it!

1. Visit Hueston Woods State Park

Hueston Woods State Park is located just over 10 minutes from Miami University’s campus. This slightly hidden destination serves as a getaway for students to enjoy recreational activities especially in the summer. Whether you’re looking to book a tee time for a day on their beautiful golf course or rent one of their boats including pontoons, canoes and paddle boats, Hueston Woods is the perfect way to enjoy the summer sunshine and get away from the bustle of campus. The Miami University Outdoor Pursuit Center also offers various boat rentals that can be used at the state park. Follow the links below for more information on boat rentals, hiking, disc golf and other recreational activities. 

2. Disc Golf

If you’re not looking to travel off campus for recreational activity but are still looking for a way to enjoy the outdoors this summer, look no further than Western Campus for Miami University Recreation’s very own 18-basket Disc Golf Course. Walking the 1500 foot course full of hills and wooded scenery will simply take your breath away. You can also enjoy some outdoor art installations found on the course near the Miami University Art Museum. The course is completely free and open 24 hours a day. The link below will take you to the map and downloadable scorecard.

3. Swimming

The Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center at Miami University’s Recreation Center consists of an eight-lane, 50-meter pool, and a separate 25-meter dive well, containing 1m, 5m, 7.5m, and 10m platforms, a leisure pool, and a spa. Here you will find students, faculty and Oxford residents exercising, relaxing and enjoying this world class facility. The summer is an especially great time to beat the heat and the regular semester crowds while getting a great workout in at the Rec Center. To learn more about special programming, classes and facility hours, follow the link below. 

4. Sand Volleyball

The Sand Volleyball courts at Miami University’s Recreation Center may be tucked behind the building and sometimes forgotten but they are regulation sized and ready for you to Bump, Set and Spike on! These courts are open for use starting at the end of March through December 1st and are a fun way to get your friends or family together for some competition. They are also used for Intramural Sand Volleyball during the school year. 

5. Group Fitness Classes

Although many students head home for summer break, many of our group fitness instructors are still here preparing for your return. There are also a handful of classes still offered during summer term including Total Body Tone, Spinning and Yoga. Staying active during the summer can be especially tough, so don’t try to tackle it alone and join us here at the Rec Center for some great group workouts. Visit the link below to read more about class descriptions, class schedules and pricing of group fitness membership packages.

By Emily Comos, Miami University Rec Center Marketing Assistant

Club Sports Weekly Update 9/18 – 9/24

Men’s Water Polo played in the Notre Dame tournament this weekend. They won against OSU B and Dayton and lost to Grand Valley and Illinois State.

Miami Beach Volleyball Club travelled to Cincinnati to compete in a sand tournament. Tom Vennemeyer and Ally King went undefeated during their pool play (7-0). Jake Swyers and Caroline Church along with Olliver Miller and Alyssa Kuelthau finished 6-1 in their pools.

Miami University Rugby Football Club played a home match against Dayton. They won 33-25 to start off their season.

The Equestrian Team’s Western Team was the High Point Team for their show this Sunday at OSU.

Miami University Club Broomball Team Coed lost 0-3. Unrestricted won their first game of the year by mercy 6-0 against the Ice Sharks. Ted Price scored 2, Curran Persinger had 2, Mike Dzoba added 1, and Seth Wise scored 1 as well.

Miami University Waterski Team took second place this past weekend at their Conference Tournament.

Club Swimming competed in the Auburn University War Eagle Invitational on Saturday. The boys placed third out of ten and the girls placed fifth out of ten. Their combined score earned them fourth place overall. They had multiple top five/ten finishes and a couple of event wins for the team. Multiple athletes achieved their National Qualifying Times.

Miami University Men’s Club Soccer defeated Wright State 2-1 and Cleveland State 4-1 this past weekend.

Miami University Triathlon Team participated in their final race for the fall – the Boilerman Olympic Triathlon at Purdue University. Leah Grandy placed 3rd for collegiate women and Arden McMath placed 2nd. Andrew Wallace placed 4th for collegiate men.

Club Tennis were runner ups at the University of Cincinnati Queen City Classic. They won their pool against OU, OSU A, and UK B. They then beat Ball State and UC A to make it to the finals. They lost to UK A (18-25) in the finals to bring home a runner-up trophy. Their team was made up of Gabby Verdin, Haley Thoresen, Sammud Sharma, Brett Schubert, Akhil Kanagaraj, Nick Ruth, Ellen Hata, and Nayana Ravishankar.

Miami University Men’s Club Hockey had their first games of the season against Wright State. On Friday, they had an away game and won 8-0. On Saturday, they played them again at home and won 15-0.

Women’s Club Soccer beat the University of Dayton 3-0. They then beat Xavier 7-1 and Wright State 4-0.

The Running Team competed in the MC5 Cross Country Meet at Mounds State Park in Indiana. They placed 3rd in women’s 6k and 2nd in men’s 8k. They 5 medalists in the top 10 (3 men, 2 women).

Miami University Quidditch had an unofficial scrimmage with Dayton. Their A and B teams won their games.

Congratulations to all our teams this season so far! Keep up the good work!

Report by: Michelle Gregg