Education Spotlight: University of Texas at Dallas

Outdoor Fitness Court® Studio Energizes UT Dallas Campus, adding the world's best outdoor gym to campus recreation and programming

December 22, 2023

In early May 2023, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) campaign welcomed not only its first higher education partner in the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) but also the first Fitness Court® Studio in the state.

Located near the University’s Recreation Center, the Fitness Court® Studio now serves as an outdoor wellness hub for nearly 34,000 students, faculty and staff. It is within walking or cycling distance to nearly 55,000 local residents and is conveniently located right next to a high traffic walking path, along a bus route and adjacent to a large parking lot.

University Recreation (UREC) offers a comprehensive fitness and wellness program including group fitness classes, personal training and goal setting. Now with the addition of the Fitness Court® Studio, UREC is incorporating both circuit classes as well as yoga, Pilates, Zumba or Stretch and Restore into their group fitness offerings. Community members can purchase day passes to group classes or can download the free Fitness Court® App for a coach-in-your-pocket experience at the UT Dallas Fitness Court® Studio. 

Nearly 50 students, alumni, faculty and staff came out to celebrate the launch event in early May. Attendees heard remarks from the Vice President and Chief of Staff at UT Dallas, Dr. Rafael Martín, Dr. Mark Chassay,  Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of BCBSTX, and Dr. Laura Smith, Associate Dean of Students at UT Dallas. The UT Dallas mascot Temoc and Blue Bear from BCBSTX revved up the crowd during the Fitness Court® demonstrations and Stretch and Restore class, which featured UREC personal trainers. The launch event took place during Stressbusters week, a collection of UT Dallas events to relieve anxiety as students study for finals. The university plans to add a shade structure and outdoor lighting for extended usage and was featured in both Campus Rec Magazine and the Dallas News on their new innovative partnership with BCBSTX and National Fitness Campaign, providing a new wellness hub for the campus community and greater public. 

“I began to do some research and remembered the National Fitness Campaign partnering with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas to offer grants for new construction of outdoor Fitness Court® Studios. Our student population has increased significantly in the last 10 years, leaving UREC in need of new space. Since expansion isn’t an option at this time, we looked for something creative for students to use outside.” - Tricia Losavio, Director of UT Dallas UREC

Interested in learning more about the growing healthy campus network? Visit our schools campaign page to learn more.