Caven-Clark Field Still Used Amid Campus Closures
By Nataleah Small
Photography By Nataleah Small
AUSTIN — Although the University of Texas at Austin is closed due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, members of the Austin community are continuing to exercise at the Caven-Clark Field.
There is signage posted stating that the facility is closed, but because the field is in an open area, people have easy access to it, said Jennifer Speer, UT recreational sports senior director.
“When we renovated the facility back in 2011, we were not able to put a fence around it which means it is an open field and track,” Speer said.
Natalia Ortiz, Texas State University alumna, went to the field to go running and do strength training exercises on April 1.
“I’m out here trying to work out,” Ortiz said. “It’s hard not going to the gym.”
Personal trainer O Dino accompanied Ortiz and said although people are under quarantine, it is important to make time to exercise.
“You still need to stay away from people and be careful, but not stay home and do nothing,” Dino said.
Many other people were also using the track and exercise equipment at the field the day Dino and Ortiz visited. However, because the University campus is closed, the field is supposed to be closed as well.
When the university is open there are recreational sports staffers to monitor the field, but now that the university is closed, most of the staffers are working from home, Speer said.
“We have worked with UTPD to monitor the facility to make sure that they are doing pretty frequent check-ins,” Speer said.
According to a statement from the university police department, officers are monitoring the field as well as other areas on campus and if they see concerning behavior they will intervene.
However, Speer said because people have been cooped up for so long, they will continue to use the facility because it is accessible.
To provide accommodations during this time, Speer said the recreational sports department is also making virtual workouts available online. Anyone can access a wide range of exercise videos by going to the UT Rec Sports YouTube page.
“We have classes that you can do without any equipment in your home including yoga, Tabata, total body conditioning,” Speer said.
But for some there’s nothing to replace the outdoors.
“Outside is so nice because you get this lovely spring weather and still be able to enjoy life even though we’re in the quarantined era right now,” Ortiz said.
To learn more about staying active at home, people can visit the UT Recreational Sports webpage for more information.