Serving Student-Athletes

By Bill Smith/Liberty Athletics, February 21, 2018

New Liberty Athletics Center enhances overall experience

Since opening in November, the 60,000-square-foot Liberty Athletics Center (LAC) has provided unlimited opportunities for student-athletes to flourish physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually in their sports and in their studies.

Designed as the central hub for Liberty Athletics, the 3-story building includes an Olympic sports weight room and a training facility for short- and long-term rehabilitation of Liberty’s NCAA Division I student-athletes. It also has a refueling station operated by Liberty’s Sports Nutrition staff.

Approximately one-third of the building is used for academic enhancement. The facility features tutoring spaces, conference rooms, a computer library, and an open library study space.

Senior Holly Arey, a thrower on the Liberty women’s track & field team, said she likes the all-encompassing aspect of the new facility. She visits the group study rooms to work on schoolwork, the refueling station to grab a snack or a protein shake after practice, and the athletic training room for physical therapy on her shoulder.

“The LAC has enhanced my experience as a student-athlete because almost everything I could need is here,” Arey said. “From the training room to the weight room, to the refueling station to the tutors, there’s not much more that is needed. The LAC has opened up so many opportunities for me to focus on being a student while not forgetting the importance of fueling correctly and maintaining a healthy body.”

Darrel Jones, a jumper on the men’s track & field team, echoed Arey’s sentiments and said his favorite element of the LAC is the refueling station. He said he is able to get a quick bite to eat or a protein shake before and after practice. The senior has also used the study area with teammates and utilizes the athletic training room’s new tools, such as the vibrating foam rollers and the pulse leg recovery machines, to stay healthy and prepare him for competition.

“The LAC has given me the resources to excel,” Jones said. “I am grateful for all the perks that come with being a student-athlete here at Liberty.”

Jenna Joyal, a two-sport athlete who is a member of the lacrosse team and a diver on the swimming & diving team, said her favorite part about the LAC is the sense of community it builds within the Athletics program. She said she is thankful for the bevy of opportunities the LAC offers and for the caring specialists on staff.

“The endless amount of resources that the LAC provides, such as tutors for all subjects as well as the support from our academic advisors, strength & conditioning coaches, and athletic training staff, has allowed me to become stronger and more confident in both my academic and athletic capabilities,” Joyal said.

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