USM showcases new indoor/outdoor student fitness equipment

USM showcases new indoor/outdoor student fitness equipment

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - University of Southern Mississippi students have a new way to stay fit on campus that really rocks.

It is a new rock climbing wall at the Payne Center. It is 30 by 40 feet and is the largest at any state university. The total cost was about $150,000 and it is staffed by about a dozen certified student employees.

A ribbon-cutting was held Wednesday for the wall and for seven new fitness stations on the nearby Bruce and Virginia Wilgus Fitness and Wellness Trail. The stations were paid for by a grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.

"We've had a lot of interest over the years of getting in a climbing wall and I think we're now going to be able to meet a lot of those students needs and wants here to have this here,"said Mark Crager, director of recreational sports at USM.

"I think it's awesome," said Caroline Bradley, president of Southern Miss' Student Government Associaion. "This is a really cool way to get students to stay active, leading that awesome, active lifestyle. Southern Miss definitely promotes it."

Bradley made the official inaugural climb after the ribbon-cutting.