Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation

Recreation & Wellness is committed and welcoming to a culture of inclusion, in which we provide recreational programs and services that are accessible and equitable to the community. We strive to share a diverse array of ideas, opportunities, and experiences for all students. Recreation & Wellness follows the university policy on discrimination and harassment, which protects from discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight.

In addition, we advocate for the inclusion of all individuals, including the right to access facilities, such restrooms and locker rooms, and programming on the basis of asserted gender expression.

Programs and Services

Programs and services offered by Recreation & Wellness are created to accommodate various levels of ability and skill, and as a department, Recreation & Wellness works with many campus partners to uphold university efforts in inclusion. 

Fitness and Wellness Services offers a free UFit Program for students that assists individuals in a variety of health and wellness goals. Plans can be created to increase wellness, strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular functioning based on preference or ability level.

In addition, all group exercise classes have various levels of skill, from beginner to advanced. Each group exercise class is formatted for any level of skill. 

Equipment orientations (including adaptive equipment), massages at a reduced cost to students, and an on-site nutritionist that can assist with medically restricted diets and eating behaviors are also offered. 

Our Adult Swim Program offers individual lessons and group lessons for people of all abilities ages 17 & older. Individual lessons provide 1-on-1 instruction with a qualified swim instructor, while Learn to Swim group lessons are for those new to swimming or have a fear of the water. 

Sports Programs provide opportunities for various athletic levels and accommodations. Within Intramural Sports, in sports that are gender segregated (i.e. men's soccer versus women’s soccer), participants are able to self-select their own gender identity based on expression. There are currently 5 sports that have open league teams, which require no gender identification. These include kickball, softball, volleyball (sand and indoor), floor hockey, and ultimate frisbee.

Club Sports membership and all privileges, including voting and officer positions, must be extended to all students without regard to age, ethnicity, gender, disability, color, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. 

In addition, Unified Sports is a league that encourages inclusion between students and the community. Unified Sports partners Grand Valley students and athletes registered with a local Special Olympics team to create leagues. Unified Sports leagues in the past have included soccer and volleyball, as well as one-day clinics including rock climbing

At the Climbing Center, rocks are strategically placed on the wall to accommodate a variety of ages and levels of experience. A variety of education from basic equipment fit and use to techniques for multi-pitch climbing are available. In addition, climbing-specific equipment is available for those that need it, and student employees are prepared to work with a range of climbing abilities.

Staff at the Bike Shop are prepared to assist visitors of all skill levels in evaluating their bikes issues and providing resources for making necessary repairs.

Outdoor trips for all abilities and experience levels are planned throughout the year. Due to the infrastructure and terrain of some trip locations, some outings may have recommendations for level of fitness and ability. For trips that include group meals, all participant’s dietary restrictions are considered and accommodated.

Recreation & Wellness hosts the Family Weekend 5K each year, which is open to anyone - students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and community members. This event features Men's, Women's, and All-Gender divisions in varying age groups. 

In addition, Recreation & Wellness has worked with community partners such as Mary Free Bed to offer inclusive programming, such as wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.

Accessible Facilities

Athletics and Recreation Facilities prides itself on maintaining facilities that are not only compliant and accessible, but welcoming and inclusive to a variety of populations. Most facilities are not only ADA compliant, but also designed to accommodate a various level of skills.

In the Fieldhouse, locker rooms B025 (Women’s) and B020 (Men's) can be accessed downstairs via a ramp at Lot E. Open when the facilities are open, a nursing nest is provided for nursing mothers in B127 and can be used by students, faculty, and staff. In addition, a gender inclusive bathroom is located in the basement (B055). There are 9 single user stalls in the women’s locker room. Gendered locker rooms that lead directly to the pool are also accessible and able to be accessed via the Lot E ramp. The pool also allows for a transfer from wheelchair to water, and lifeguards are always on duty to supervise.

Adaptive Equipment

  • Mat table 
  • Exercise bands 
  • Wrist or hand-grip attachments
  • Nu-Step recumbent stair climber 
  • Exercise bikes 
  • Upper body arm ergometer 
  • Strength training pieces with removable seats

Adaptive and Inclusive Equipment in the Recreation Center

Accessible Facilities

Adaptive and Inclusive Equipment in Recreation Center


Recreation & Wellness understands the value in inclusive programming and services, and thus aims to train all student employees, graduate assistants, and professional staff how to be inclusive in all efforts.

Each semester, all student staff for both Recreation & Wellness and Athletics and Recreation Facilities are required to attend bias incident training. During this training, topics are targeted to certain populations such as students who are transgender, those who may have a disability, or students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or other populations that may be susceptible to intimidation in recreation and athletic spaces. Student employees are trained to understand the presentation of a bias incident and how to report one.

In addition, both Recreation & Wellness and Athletics and Recreation Facilities aim to maintain a higher level of diversity within its own staffing. At the professional level, staff are trained in university efforts for inclusion and equity.

Equipment orientations

If You Can Play, You Can Play

Affirmative Action Statement

Grand Valley State University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. It is committed to protecting the constitutional and statutory civil rights of persons connected with the university.

Transgender Policies

Recreation & Wellness follows the NIRSA Transgender Policy. GVSU Athletics follows the NCAA Transgender Policy.

In both athletics and recreation, we promote inclusion and equity. GVSU Recreation & Wellness supports the If You Can Play, You Can Play Campaign to promote equality in recreation in sports, no matter the gender identity. 

Questions & Concerns

If you have questions about inclusive-related policies, please contact the Recreation & Wellness office by email at or by phone at (616) 331-1732. You may also submit a bias incident report.

For more information on university-wide efforts for inclusion and equity, check out the Division of Inclusion and Equity