Drexel faculty members took a break from the daily grind Sept. 7 to compete in the second annual Drexel Employee Olympics, which was comprised of 11 events and included a squash match with President John A. Fry.
Sponsored by Drexel’s wellness program, A Healthier U, the main goal of the competition was to promote “healthy minds, bodies and spirits,” coordinator of intramural sports Jillian Formanski said.
Participants played preliminary games in the two weeks leading up to the gold medal day, held Sept. 7, to narrow down the competition.
“We had everything from basketball to dodgeball to tennis tournaments,” Formanski said.
She and other members of her department spent roughly eight weeks planning the multi-day event, which drew in a total of 352 staff participants from various University departments.
“We had some professors, members of the Human Resources and Information Resources and Technology departments, as well as LeBow and Goodwin employees participate,” she said.
Among the participants were Anna Chrulkiewicz, associate dean of the LeBow College of Business, and Fry, who challenged Drexel varsity Squash coach and worldwide squash leader John White to an exhibition match.
“That was fantastic and we had a great viewing audience for that exhibition,” Formanski said.
She and the recreational athletics department coordinated all of the competing leagues, registered participants and doled out T-shirts on gold medal day. The department also held opening and closing ceremonies to celebrate the competition.
“We had Dan Baker, the voice of the Phillies, do our opening ceremonies, along with a torch bearer,” Formanski said. “Following all of the events we had the closing ceremony with a color guard.”
During the closing ceremony, Fry gave medals to winning participants and gave a speech praising the event.
“He thought the competition was a great way to get everyone active and involved,” Formanski explained.
The Drexel Employee Olympics were spread out across the University City campus, with events occurring at the Drexel Recreation Center, the Armory, Drexel Park and the Vidas Athletic Complex, among other locations.
Rainy weather pushed back the date of the “urban obstacle course,” a brand new Olympic event, to Sept. 20. The event will be held around the Drexel Recreation Center and is comprised of various challenges including hurdles, tires and ropes.
Formanski said she enjoyed seeing her colleagues bond and compete over the course of the Olympics.
“The collaboration with everyone was a great highlight,” she said. “Just seeing everyone having fun out there and branching out to see what we have to offer at recreational athletics and across the campus was really great.”
For more information about A Healthier U, visit www.drexel.edu/healthieru.