National Recreational Sports & Fitness Day
The Department of Recreational Sports is celebrating NIRSA’s National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day on Friday, February 22. This day was established to focus on the positive benefits of recreational sports, fitness activities, and wellness programs to Americans of all ages. It also represents the founding day of the NIRSA.
On February 22, 1950, Dr. William Wasson organized twenty African-American men and women intramural directors from eleven Historically Black Colleges to attend the first Intramural Conference at Dillard University in New Orleans. The National Intramural Association (NIA) was formed. Dr. Wasson served as the first President of the association and is considered the founder of the NIRSA. The NIA eventually became the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) in 1975.
Today, there are more than 4,000 members on more than 700 campus and universities, as well as on U.S. military installations, in public park and recreation departments, correctional facilities, not-for-profit organizations, and private enterprise. The NIRSA is a non-profit membership organization that leads in many recreational sports areas: training and professional development, intramural sports, fitness programming, sports clubs, recreation facilities, outdoor recreation, wellness programs, informal recreation, and aquatic programs. UIS is an institutional member of the NIRSA.